Chile - Organizations

The members of many workers' organizations have formed consumer cooperatives. Producer cooperatives also are common, particularly in the dairy industry. The National Society of Agriculture has been politically very influential, and the minister of agriculture has been frequently drawn from its ranks. Representative of the many industrial, commercial, and professional organizations are the National Mining Society, Society of Industrial Development, Commercial Union Society, National Press Association, Medical Society, Chilean Medical Association, Agronomers' Society, Geographical Society of Chile, the Computer Science Society and Scientific Society. The Consumers International Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean is located in Santiago.

A national Academy of Fine Arts was established in 1964. Other educational organizations include the Academy of History and the Center for Investigation and Development of Education. There are several organizations for medical research and education.

Among fraternal organizations, the Masonic Order is prominent. Among the more politically potent organizations are the professional middle-class guilds (gremios), which were instrumental in bringing down the Allende government. Social development corporations, comprising mainly business people, have been organized regionally to deal with various welfare problems. The Confederation for Production and Commerce is an official organization representing the country's industrialists and traders. The Chilean Chamber of Commerce, with its headquarters in Santiago, is the central organ for all chambers of commerce and most trade associations. Rotary and Lions clubs are also active among the business community. There are chapters of Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and the Red Cross.

The National Council of Sports is the overall confederation of athletic associations. There are youth organizations affiliated with major political parties. The Council of Student Federations of Chile (CONFECH) is a coordinating body for student unions. Scouting programs are active throughout the country. There are also chapters of the YMCA and YWCA.

National women's organizations include the Association of University Women and the Centro de Estudios para el Desarrollo de la Mujer.

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