Texas Border Business
By Roberto Hugo González
The Pan-American Round Table of Texas (PARTT) is a remarkable organization dedicated to fostering friendship and understanding among the nations of the Western Hemisphere. To learn more about PARTT and its mission, we spoke with the current State Director, Margo Arevalo Gonzalez, who shared insights into the organization, its history, and its impact.
She told Texas Border Business in Exclusivity that PARTT traces its roots back to October 16, 1916, when the visionary Florence Terry Griswold founded it. Today, PARTT celebrates Pan American Day every November to honor Mrs. Griswold’s dedication to bringing people from across the hemisphere together. The State Director explained, “Our mission is to empower women by providing scholarships and engaging in community involvement. We aim to create a sense of unity and understanding among people from different backgrounds.”
One of the critical initiatives of PARTT is providing scholarships to young women. These scholarships support those studying abroad and those coming to the United States to learn about different cultures. The aim is to promote cross-cultural exchange and foster greater understanding. “We want to respect our differences while coming together as a unified community,” Margo the State Director emphasized.
Margo, who was elected in June 2022, serves a two-year term. According to her, the elections are held every two years, with the next one scheduled for April 2024. This process involves the state’s membership, making it a rigorous but essential endeavor. “I am dedicated to the needs and questions of our members,” the Director shared. “I have an open-door policy and am always available for our members.”
PARTT is part of the larger Pan-American Round Table Alliance, extending from Canada to South America’s tip. This international network enables members to connect with like-minded individuals across borders. Margo noted, “We hold state conventions in odd years, while the Alliance holds theirs in even years. This way, we ensure a continuous flow of communication and collaboration.”
With nearly a thousand members statewide and several local tables, PARTT has a strong presence in Texas. Margo said, “We have 998 members in Texas, with Edinburg having 48 members and McAllen at 68.” The organization’s growth reflects its commitment to building lasting friendships.
When asked about the personal benefits of being a member of PARTT, the State Director shared, “The greatest benefit is the opportunity to meet fascinating women from diverse backgrounds. We work together to achieve common goals and uphold our motto: ‘One for all and all for one.'”
During the conversation, the State Director mentioned a new addition to PARTT’s cultural repertoire – a Corrido dedicated to Florence Terry Griswold. This Corrido, titled “The Florence Terry Griswold,” was composed and performed by a couple from the Rio Grande Valley and is now available on CD for members to enjoy.
The State Director expressed her excitement for the upcoming convention in Laredo, Texas, where attendees will engage in workshops and discussions focused on the needs of young women in the Western Hemisphere. “Belonging to an organization is one thing, but truly understanding its mission and impact requires active involvement,” she emphasized.
Beyond PARTT: A Jewelry Designer
In addition to her role as State Director, Margo is also a jewelry designer. Her store, Margots in Edinburg, Texas, offers unique jewelry designs. Moreover, she has been commissioned to create solid gold medallions for the International Alliance Director General for the past 15 years.
Under the dedicated leadership of Margo, its State Director, the Pan-American Round Table of Texas continues to foster friendship, understanding, and empowerment among women in the Western Hemisphere. As they prepare for their upcoming convention, their commitment to their mission remains more vital than ever.