Casa Galicia Unity Gallega New York

Society founded in 1940 and still active.
Memoria, annual publication of Casa Galicia

This society founded in 1940 has been the reference of the Galician community in New York City since its creation until the present day. It was created by inspiration of Castelao (its first Honorary Member) after the Frente Popular Antifascista Gallego broke away from the Sociedades Hispanas Confederadas, and also to fill the gap left by the defunct Centro Galicia. It has had their building at the following locations: 113 West 59th Street (1942-1954), 153 West 64th Street (1954-1958), 405 West 41st Street (1958-1970), 119 West 11th Street (1970-1994), 37-09 31st Avenue, Astoria (1994-).

Among its members were some of the Galician exiles, such as Emilio González López and Ernesto Guerra da Cal. The society’s regulations rejected an association with a specific ideology (always remaining within democratic principles), in order to avoid the internal divisions within the Galician community. Emilio Flores (who had played a prominent role in the Frente Popular Antifascista Gallego) was one of its most outstanding presidents (fourteen times), as well as a founding member.

The exile poet and academic Ernesto Guerra da Cal and the exile academic Emilio González in Casa Galicia, New York (fourth and firth from the left, standing) (1946) (Memoria de Casa Galicia)

Throughout its history, the society organized social gatherings and charity events to support initiatives in Galicia such as the Cociña Económica (soup kitchen) and the Sanatorium of Oza in A Coruña, and the Penzol Foundation in Vigo. In Galicia, there are also signs of its presence on the plaques placed on the statues dedicated to Curros Enríquez in A Coruña and to Rosalía de Castro in Compostela, left during a visit in 1958. The society also kept an active cultural profile, thanks to the promotion of Galician culture in the city, with visits from writers and intellectuals, articles published in their annual “Memorias” (Memories), the creation of traditional music and dance groups, and its participation in the “Columbus Day” parade in New York. (Sources: “Memorias” of the society; Casa Galicia website; “Unha achega á emigración galega a Nova York” (2008) by Nancy Pérez Rey).

Parade of Casa Galicia on Columbus Day in New York (1966-67) (Memoria of Casa Galicia)