„YMCA Europe is a working fellowship to strengthen movements where people grow in body, mind and spirit.“


23rd July 2020

Growth, social impact, inclusion, youth empowerment, cooperation... These are words that describe four decades of history at YMCA Spain.

On July 22nd 1980 a group of committed volunteers from different sectors within the Spanish civil society, re-founded the movement in the country. In partnership with the World Alliance and YMCA of the USA, the European Alliance of YMCAs (YMCA Europe) was crucial for the rebirth of the association.

The priority and focus were clear: putting YMCA mission in practice through socially relevant actions. Therefore the new YMCA started its work in the most vulnerable suburbs of Madrid where families and young people struggled with high unemployment rates, lack of opportunities and exclusion.

Very soon the profile of the organization and its social commitment attracted other young people from different Spanish cities and regions. Extension across the country was fast and consistent, including the increasing support from the public administration at national, regional and local levels.

Using a centralized governance and management model, local YMCAs were able to identify relevant programmes in each of their contexts, always involving volunteers working together with small staff teams. Growth has continued every year since then. New local and regional YMCAs were established, relevant and innovative projects were implemented and a higher number of private and public institutions have trusted YMCA Spain´s vision and capacities.

These 40 years are an example of a successful implementation of the YMCA mission and values in contemporary times.  

Projects and initiatives for all: children, youth, families and a focus on issues like migration, employment or social inclusion. Tools and spaces like education, camps, recreation and international cooperation have been crucial for the development led by a committed board and executive committee members working side by side with solid and experienced staff at all levels. Together they have built a clear vision and gained an enormous reputation among society, institutions and the international YMCA family.

We congratulate YMCA Spain on its 40th anniversary. Our recognition to everyone who contributed to its grown and impact over the years.

Thank you President Francisco Perez Polo, Secretary General Pedro Fueyo and all members of the governance bodies. Thank you to the national, regional and local volunteers, staff and members. We are proud of having YMCA Spain as an inspiring partner at our YMCA Europe family and network.


More information about YMCA Spain´s reality at www.ymca.es 

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