** Boys' Youth Group Uniforms : countries Latin America

Boys' Youth Group Uniforms: Latin America

Figure 1.--Here we see a Catholic Scout group in Argentina. We are not sure when the photograph was taken.

Youth movements are relatively underdeveloped in Latin America. The only exception is Cuba where membership in the Young Pioneers is virtually mandatory. There are small Scout organizations in each Latin American country. Reflecting the middle-class origin of Scouting, few boys in most countries are able to participate. As far as we can tell, Scouting is a relatively small movement throughout Latin America. The largest Scouting organization appears to be Argentina. The only country with a mass youth movement is the Cuba with its virtually compulsory Young Pioneer organization. Hopefully our Latin American readers will provide us some information about youth groups in their countries. Youth groups except in totalitarian societies like Cuba are primarily middle-class organizations whichg limits participation in poor contries with relatively small middle classes.



We do not know much about youth groups in Barbados. The primary youth group is the Boys Scouts. The first troops were for British boys. We are not sure about troops for black boys and how the movement dealt with integration. Of course the vast majority of Barnadians are people of African discent brought to Barbados to work on sugar plantations. While there is some limited information on the Scouts, there is very little information on other organizations. We note Sea Scouting as part of Biy Scout movement. We are not sure about the Guide movement for girls. As far as we can tell, the girls were not as interested as the boys. We also are not sure about the Boys' Brigade, a group common in British Commonwealth countries. We also notice the YMCA active in Barbados. The Mknistry of Youth and Community Empowerment promotes youth sports as a positive firce abnd to reduce vilenc among young people. v


Cuba had a small Scouting movemnent. We know little about its history. It would have been founded after independence from Spain. We notice a unifirm with knickers like the United States rather than short pants like the British. The knickers don't seem in keeping with the tropical climate. Castro seized power in 1959 promidsing a return to democracy. Instead he imposed a Communist dictatorship. As in other Communist countries, the Communists abolished the Scouting movement. Scouting with its independent, family based program was not in keeping with thre Cimmunist desire to control the formation and education of young peope. The only Latin American country with a mass youth movement is the Cuba with its virtually compulsory Young Pioneer organization. We know very little about the Young Pioneer Movement in Cuba. The uniform affears to be the same as the compulsory school uniform.

Central America

Costa Rica




We note a Mexican Scout association. It seems to be popular with the growing Mexican middle class. The Mexican Scout Association (Asociaci�n de Scout de M�xico A.C.) was founded in Puerto de Veracruz during 1912. The early growth of the Scout movement in Mexico was hampered by the poverty in rural areas and the Revolution of the 1910s. The Revolution occurred just as the movement was beginning to develop in most countries. The Asociaci�n was recognized by the World Scout Movement es reconocida por la Organizaci�n Mundial del Movimiento Scout in August 1926 after Mexico had entered a more traquil period of its history. We know of no other uniformed youth groups in Mexico.


South America


The largest Scouting organization in Latin America appears to be Argentina. As far as we know Scouting is the only importangt uniformed youth group. We have few details on Argentinde Scouting. There appears to be a separate Catholic Scouting association. We are not sure if any other youth groups have been active in Argentina. There does appear to be a popular youth hostel movement in Argentina.


We have very limited information on Bolivia, but notice a nationalist youth program. We assume that there is a Scouting movement, but we know nothing about it as this time.


Brazil is the largest, most populous country in Latin America. Unlike most other Latin American countries, which speak Spanish, the Brazilians as a former Portuguese territory speak Portuguese. The only Brazilian youth group we know of is Scouting.


We have very limited information on youth organizations in Chile. We notice some information on Scouting.


We know very little about Colombian youth groups. The only group we know of is the Scouts. Scouting appeared in Colombia soon after it was founded in Britain (1913). Scouting was brought from Englnd by by Miguel Jimenez, who had lived in brought the idea of Scouting back with him. Sir Jorge Cock Quevedo also played an important early role. Scouting in Colombia is a relatively small movement, about 14,000 members (2010). There are several associations. The largest is principal the Asociación Scouts de Colombia (ASC). TheASC was founded in 1917 and accepted into the World Organization of the Scout Movement (1933). The movement is now coeducational with both boys and girls participating. Other smaller associations include: the Asociación de Guías Scouts de Colombia, Corporación Scouts de Antioquia, and the the Asociaci�n Colombiana de Escultismo. The ASC age levels are: Manada (Lobatos, ages 7 to 11), Tropa (Scouts, ages 11 to 15), Comuidad (Caminantes, ages 15 to 18), and Clan (Rover Scouts, ages 18 to 21). The ASC program includes outdoor activities and community service. Scouts participate in national festivals and holidays. They are also active in assisting at major sporting events, disaster relief, and first aid situations. In recent years they have developed a strong emphasis on conservation and ecology.



We know very little about Peruvian youth groups. We think that is primarily because there are very few such movements and the ones that do exit have a very small membership. This probably refldcts the fact that Peru is a relatively poor country. The principal youth groups are the Scouts and Guides which are separate associtions, although the boys and girls seem to wear similar uniforms. We have not yet found information about any other youth groups in Peru. Scouts and Guides are an essentially middle-class movement and the groups tend to be small in countries like Peru with low-incom levels and small middle classes. Hopefully Peruvian readers can provide us more information.




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Created: May 5, 2004
Last updated: 2:57 AM 11/6/2021