Chama (SPMDTU) Lodge Hall

single story rectangular building with one door and two windows in a plain landscape
Chama (SPMDTU) Lodge Hall

Photograph by Thomas H. Simmons, courtesy of Colorado State Historic Preservation Office

Quick Facts
Chama, Colorado
Ethnic Heritage/Hispanic, Architecture, Social History, Archaeology/Historic Non-Aboriginal
Listed in the National Register – Reference number 100003273
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2018, The Chama Sociedad Protección Mutua de Trabajadores Unidos (SPMDTU) lodge hall in Chama, Colorado, is locally significant as the lodge hall of the United Workers' Mutual Protection Society‎ (SPMDTU) group since its construction ca. 1920. Founded in 1900, the SPMDTU served the fraternal and social needs of its Hispano membership. SPMDTU arose at a time when ethnic mutual aid societies were springing up across the nation. In the early 20th century, Hispanos often formed mutual aid societies such as the SPMDTU to combat prejudice and exploitation: The primary function of these organizations was to build solidarity within the Mexican and Spanish American communities, to educate their members about the laws and institutions of the United States, to welcome new arrivals to the communities, and to plead cases of injustice before the appropriate authorities. Reacting to discrimination against Hispanos in labor, agriculture, politics, and land and water rights, the preamble to the SPMDTU’s 1911 constitution committed the organization to protect each other against the injustices. Members of the organization viewed one another as hermanos (brothers) and pledged to aid one another in times of need. The SPMDTU’s original charter limited membership to Hispano males between the ages of eighteen and fifty-five. The group played an important social role in the Colorado community.

Last updated: August 11, 2021