Who we are:

We are a United States tax-exempt [501(c)(3)] not-for-profit, non-political, non-denominational, non-governmental (NGO) organization of like-minded citizens, from all walks of life and of different heritages, who are interested in expanding their knowledge and understanding of the countries of the “Americas,” enhancing relations between the U. S./ Kansas City and other countries of the “Americas,” and contributing to peace and prosperity in the hemisphere.

Mission and Purpose:

The mission and purpose of the Pan American Association of Kansas City is to help educate the community, particularly youth, about the geography, history, culture, art, music, economies, and customs of the countries of the Western Hemisphere (the “Americas”); particularly the 35 sovereign countries that are members of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes the U. S.— and also to inform about the role of the OAS.  The Pan American Association is also the sponsoring organization for the Grand Boulevard of the Americas. We are funded through membership dues, donations, sponsorships and grants.

Why are the countries of the Americas important to the United States? (And for many of these same reasons below, the United States is important to the other countries of the Americas)

Historical and cultural ties:

  • We share a common history of exploration, discovery, conquest and settlement by European nations
  • Most countries experienced slavery, extinction or marginalization of indigenous peoples.
  • We have a common background of gaining independence through revolution.
  • We share a post revolution emphasis on freedom, liberty, individual initiative, agricultural then industrial development.
  • Many hemisphere countries patterned their governmental systems and constitution after that of the U. S. constitution.
  • Most all hemisphere countries believe in representative democracy.
  • Populations of hemisphere countries grew through immigration, inter-marriage, and some assimilation of natives.
  • There is some commonality of religions, legal, and educational systems.
  • There is widespread adoption of regional foods, movies, music, and TV shows.
  • There are citizens of hemisphere nations living in the U. S. and U. S. citizens living in hemisphere countries.
  • There are many cultural, youth, and other exchanges between the U. S. and
    hemisphere nations.

Peace and security

  • WWI: several hemispheric nations were allies of the U. S.
  • WWII/Korea: hemispheric nations supported the U. S. and allies and some sent troops to Korea.
  • Most nations signed the Treaty of Rio in 1946, which calls for reciprocal support in case of outside attack.
  • Most nations cooperated with the U. S. to fight communist threats during the Cold War.
  • The U. S. cooperates in a Caribbean Basin Security Initiative, Pathways for Progress, and the Merida Initiative (Mexico and Central America).
  • Most nations cooperate with the U. S. in fighting drugs, multinational crime, and trafficking in humans.
  • There is cooperation among most law enforcement agencies.

Economic development and trade facts

  • U. S. bi-lateral trade with western hemisphere countries exceeds bi-lateral trade, on a regional basis, with other regions of the world.
  • Most hemisphere nations export primary and products for which the U. S. is a large market.
  • The U. S. is an important source of hemisphere nations’ imports of manufactured goods, equipment, aircraft, high tech items, etc.
  • The U. S. has substantial investments in hemisphere countries.
  • Some hemisphere countries have substantial investments in the U. S.
  • U.S. promoted significant economic development through the Alliance for Progress in the 1960’s-70’s.
  • The U. S. continues to promote economic development through the Generalized System of the Preferences, NAFTA, CAFTA-DR, the Andean Trade Preferences Act, Sugar quotas, and other trade agreements with countries of the Americas.