Historic Markers Across Florida

The Birth Of Mutual Aid Societies In America

Marker ID:  
Location: 8th Avenue at Centro Espanol Mall, Ybor City, Tampa, FL.
County: Hillsborough
Waymark: None


Soon after the founding of Ybor City, Cuban, Spanish, and Italian tobacco workers established comprehensive health maintenance organizations. For small weekly dues they received medicines, hospitalization, and medical services.

On June 18, 1888, Don Enrique Pendas, a Spaniard, organized EI Porvenir. Later came EI Centro Espanol, 1891: L´ Unione Italiana, 1894; El Circulo Cubano, 1902; and El Centro Asturiano, 1902. This is the oldest example of cooperative social medicine in the United States.

These self reliant people, proud of their independence, have never been a burden on society, and through the years have saved tax-payers millions of dollars.

The Ybor City Rotary Club in cooperation with the Tampa Historical Society


City: Tampa, FL