Hispanic Heritage Month:
San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
October 5, 2013
Name: San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Founded: May 31, 1931
San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce current staff (photo: SAHCC)
The San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (SAHCC) is the oldest Hispanic chamber of commerce in the U.S. It was founded as the Mexican Chamber of Commerce on May 31, 1929, by five local businessmen from Bexar County, according to the University of Texas at San Antonio Library.
Its unofficial founding father is Don Enrique Santibanez, consul general of Mexico in San Antonio, who served as its first president. The organizations purpose in its early years was to promote trade, policy and cultural harmony amid discrimination against minorities. Mr. Santibanez held the chamber's first meetings in May and June of 1928.
The name was changed in 1987 to represent the diversity of San Antonio Hispanic businesses.
One of the chambers most noted accomplishments was its key role in the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). The SAHCC had close ties with Mexicos President Salinas de Gortari and Commerce Secretary Herminio Blanco, which ultimately helped negotiations.
In 2009, the SAHCC became first U.S. Hispanic chamber accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.