Alcoholics Anonymous History In Your Area
History of AA in Spain
According to information from the Alcoholics Anonymous General Service Office in Spain, in 1955 a non-alcoholic doctor from Madrid requested information on the programme of recovery of Alcoholics Anonymous to the General Service Office in New York. He was interested in starting a group in the hospital Residencia Sanitaria de la Paz in Madrid. The New York office sent him all the information they had in Spanish (leaflets), and they put him in contact with Ray C., a US member of AA that lived in Madrid. That same year Ray C. met another member, and then informed the New York office that they had opened the first group of Alcoholics Anonymous in Spain, which they called Grupo Madrid consisting of two members. By August they had two new members, and they began contacting doctors and priests. In December of the same year, another American alcoholic, Dan C., wrote to New York to inform them of the opening of another Group in Dr Peláez’s Residencia.
In 1959 a group is formed in Valladolid; in 1960 another is born in Málaga, and in 1962 several groups are formed in Barcelona, Las Palmas, Rentería, and Tenerife, Canary Islands. The Groups developed, and in 1974 the first General Services National Office is opened in Málaga. Amongst the existing groups, a “Collective Conscience” begins taking form.
In 1976 the General Service Representatives (GSRs) of the groups meet in Madrid. This meeting was to be historic in the life of Alcoholics Anonymous in Spain. It was then and there that the destiny of AA in this country passed to the hands of the “Conscience of the Groups”.
In 1977, due to various circumstances, a new meeting of Delegates is summoned, and all the existing deficiencies are analyzed in-depth, making the decision to locate the GSO in Avilés, Asturias.
On 10 June 1978 another meeting of the GSRs is held in Avilés and a decision is made to appoint a Provisional Board of General Services with the compromise of elaborating a draft of the Statutes for said Services. On the 25th of October 1979, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, by means of the Service of Associations, legalizes the Statutes of the “General Services of Alcoholics Anonymous in Spain”, and in 1980 the first Conference of the General Service of AA in Spain takes place in Oviedo 3-5 April with the theme and title “SERVING UNITED TO GROW”. Around this time, the Fellowship in Spain consisted of 12 Areas with 114 groups and approximately 2,500 members. Since that time, the General Service Conference continues to be held yearly. The last one took place in Avilés on 1-3 April 1999 with the theme and title “THE COMPROMISE OF AA WITH SOCIETY”. At present, the Fellowship consists of 23 Areas with a total of 486 Groups with approximately 10,000 members. (As of 2000)
(Translated from Spanish to English by Alfonso F., Alicante, Spain)
This brief history was sent by Tim J. of Girona, Spain