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April9–15

Pan American Week – April 9-15, 2023

Pan American Week is marked every year on the week where April 14 falls and this year it will be held from to 15. The week aims to celebrate the Organization of American States (OAS), an organization formed to improve cooperation among its member states. The OAS has 34 member states, and most of these countries celebrate Pan American Day, while Pan American Week is primarily observed in the U.S. The week’s events take place in schools, colleges, and communities with parades, speeches, and discussions.

History of Pan American Week

Pan American Week is an annual celebration and both the week and the day are marked across countries in the American continent and all the member states of the Organization of the American States.

The Organization of American States was founded to improve cooperation among the member states and bring them all together in solidarity with each other. There are 34 member states of the OAS and all of these states are independent countries in the American Continent. When Panama was still under Colombian rule, the political and military leader Simón Bolívar suggested bringing the American countries together in a collective league. The meeting that resulted was eventually a failure. However, the idea stayed in people’s minds and came up again at the first International Conference of American States. At the Conference, among the countries that attended, 18 decided to form an International Union of American Republics. This organization was the precursor to the modern-day OAS.

The organization has its headquarters in Washington DC and has adopted a system of collective security, a determination to fight communism, and a treaty of reciprocal assistance. Today, the primary function of the OAS is to monitor elections, and audit the elections of member states when the elections are accused of being fraudulent. The organization is headed by a Secretary General.

Pan American Week timeline

1889
The First International Conference of American States

The International Conference of American States takes place in January in Washington D.C.

1947
Signing of the Treaty for Reciprocal Assistance

Leaders of American states come together after the World War in agreement to stick together.

1948
The Ninth Conference

The American States protests communism.

2017
Proclaiming of Pan American Day and Week

President Trump declares Pan American Day and Pan American Week.

Pan American Week FAQs

What is Pan American Day in Honduras?

In Honduras, Pan American Day is celebrated as a national holiday on April 14 to honor the formation of the OAS.

Is the Organization of American States still active?

Yes, the OAS is active and primarily focuses on election monitoring for its member states.

Is Cuba in the OAS?

Cuba got banned from sending representatives to the OAS till 2009. When Fidel Castro died, they could send representatives to the OAS again.

How to Observe Pan American Week

  1. Watch the celebrations across the continent

    Pan American Week's highlights vary from speeches, parades, and other festivities across the continent. Watch how all the different member states celebrate this week.

  2. Organize a parade

    Get with your community leaders to organize a parade around the unity of the Americas. Keep it themed to include all the member states.

  3. Learn about the OAS and its duties

    Get yourself informed about the OAS to know the importance of this week. Make sure you share with your friends and family what you learn.

5 Surprising Facts About The Organization Of American States

  1. The formation faced challenges

    The killing of Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, a Colombian leader, delayed the switch from PAU to OAS.

  2. It adopted the world’s first rights instrument

    The OAS adopted the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man.

  3. It has two sources of funding

    The OAS has access to the funds for specific projects and the General Secretariat.

  4. All member states host the General Assembly

    Member states take turns hosting the General Assembly on a rotating basis.

  5. Canada has an unusual relationship with OAS

    Despite being a founding member, Canada did not join the OAS until the OAS was settled.

Why Pan American Week is Important

  1. We want to celebrate unity

    We love that the Americas have each other’s back. We want to celebrate the unity of the American continent this week.

  2. We appreciate diversity

    We think it’s great that so many countries with diverse cultures have come together to support each other. We want to appreciate the variety and diversity of cultures coming together.

  3. We love parades

    We love parades and love the excuse to participate or put one up. We think parades are a great way to signal the unity and strength of the Americas.

Pan American Week dates

YearDateDay
2022April 10Sunday
2023April 9Sunday
2024April 14Sunday
2025April 13Sunday
2026April 12Sunday

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