During the V Central American and Caribbean Games held in Barranquilla, Colombia,Mr. Lawrence Johnson, then Chairman of the Men’s Swimming Committee of the Amateur Athletic Union of the United States of America, who was attending the event as a Judge, held talks with the various Delegates attending the Games. The purpose of the talks was to discuss the possibility of setting up an international, regional organization which would include the countries of Central America, the Caribbean and México, since there was also talk of a Pan American Union which would group all federations in the Americas in four zones.
This idea had been first conceived when Mr. Johnson, making use of the opportunity provided by the participation of Mexican swimmers in the United States National Championships in 1945 and 1946, had insisted on the need to speed up the organization of a Central American Confederation to complement the creation of a Pan American Organization.
Such was the situation and at the Games held in Barranquilla, Mr. Johnson, together with Mr. Antonio Mariscal, decided that in 1947, delegates from countries in the sector should meet in Mexico City to establish such an organization and to approve or reject a proposed charter, which Mr. Johnson offered to submit in advance. Following receipt of the proposed charter, a drafting assembly was called and was attended by Mr. Eusebio Ascue representing Cuba, Mr. Leonte Guszán Vidal of the Dominican Republic, Mr. Alfonso Cruz of Guatemala and Mr. Antonio G. Mariscal of México.
After several days of deliberations, the statutes of the organization were approved on December 16, 1947 and it was chartered as the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation (C.C.C.A.N).
The first Executive Committee to guide the steps of the new organization consisted of the following members: President, Mr. Porfirio Franca of Cuba; Vice President, Mr. Alfonso Cruz M., of Guatemala; and Secretary-Treasurer, Mr. Antonio G. Marizcal, of México. Since then the Confederation has constantly worked for the development of swimming as a sport in its sector, and at the present time 24 countries are affiliated members; Netherland Antilles, Antigua-Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, U.S. Virgin Islands, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Confederation has continued to make earnest efforts to enroll as members all the other countires which are included in its geographical area.
The C.C.C.A.N. today enjoys an established position and has both authority and an international and national standing, it is not only the represetative of Zone 2 in the Union Americana de Natición (UANA) but is also the auxillary of the Pan American Olympic Organization as well as that of the F.I.N.A., in its zone.
HISTORY OF THE CENTRAL AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN SWIMMING, DIVING, WATER POLO AND SYNCHRONIZED SWIMMING CHAMPIONSHIPS INFANTILE AND JUEVENILE, GIRLS AND BOYS.
At the Congress, or Statutory Assembly, celebrated in Chicago (US) by the Central American and Caribbean Amateur Swimming Confederation in August of 1959, Esq. Javier Ostos Mora, President of C.C.C.A.N., proposed a championships to take place among the countries of the Central American and Caribbean zone, in a permanent, cyclical way for boys and girls, based on age classifications.
This idea was welcome, in fact, Venezuela and Puerto Rico both had the same idea from before. Under these conditions, the I Central American and Caribbean Swimming and Diving Championships was approved, with no cycle, in order to get an idea of its acceptance by the countries in this zone, demonstrated by their attendance at this event.
At the start Mexico and Puerto Rico both offered to be the host for this event. Mexico, afterwords, withdrew their offer due to Puerto Rico’s assurance that they could hold the championship.
Under these conditions, the I Championship was successfully held on July 27, 1960, in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Seven countries participated, five members of the C.C.C.A.N. and two affiliated with the South American Swimming Confederation (CONSANAT), as guests.
The five participating members of the C.C.C.A.N., were: El Salvador, Mexico, West Indies, Panamá and the host country, Puerto Rico. The south American guest countries were Colombia and Venezuela.
During the celebration of the I Championship in San Juan, the actual Congress, or Statutory Assembly approved the minimum obligatory basis for the country hosting the championships, although they had already approved that the II Championships would be held in the city of San Salvador, El Salvador, August 1-6, 1961. In this Championships nine countries participated with approximately 300 competitors.
At the Congress held in San Salvador during the II Championships, it was approved that this championship would be held biannually, taking into consideration that the present one was happily consolidated and that the Host country reported high costs in the organization and preparation of the event. This would make it viable to obtain candidates for hosting the Championships.
At the same time, Mexico was selected to hold the III Championships which were held in Mexico City from July 31st to August 4th, 1963. In this event, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Jamaica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panamá, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela participated; nine (9) counties affiliated to the C.C.C.A.N., and two (2) affiliated to the South American Swimming Confederation, with an attendance of approximately 450 competitors.
At the Congress held during the III Championships it was agreed that the IV Championships would be held in Cali, Colombia on August 6 -10, 1965.
In the Championships in Cali the Congress agreed that the next host would be Guatemala, in August, 1967.
The championships could not be held because the Guatemala Swimming Federation could not obtain a Government guarantee of visas for the Cuban delegation. As a counsecuence of this, the C.C.C.A.N., punished Guatemala with the loss of the $1,000.00 Dlrs.(US) deposit and the definite cancellation as Host.
In the extraordinary Assembly held by the C.C.C.A.N., in July 1967 at Winnipeg, Canada, during the V Pan American Games, it was agreed to award the competition to El Salvador, who hosted the Championship from July 31st to August 4, 1968, in San Salvador, El Salvador.
The IV Championships were to be held in Kingston, Jamaica in 1969, but the Swimming Association of Jamaica declined the honor and the Championships were moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico to be held in August 1969. On that occasion, the First Water Polo Infantile and Juvenile Championships were celebrated in August of 1971, during Easter week, the Cuban Swimming Federation was the host in Havana, Cuba, of the VII Swimming and Diving Championships and II of Water Polo.
During July of 1973 in the city of Ibague, Colombia the Colombian Swimming Federation was the host of the VIII Swimming and Diving Championships and III of Water Polo. On that occasion the C.C.C.A.N. Congress approved that in 1975 the host would hold Water Polo in three categories: Infantile, Juvenile “A” and Juvenile “B” and Synchronized Swimming in the same four Categories (girls) as in Swimming and Diving.
In the 1973 Congress, the Costa Rica Swimming Federation was selected to be the host of the 1975 Championships, but in 1974 they declined the honor and the substitute, the Mexican Swimming Federation hosted, in Mexico City, from March 10 to March 16 of 1975, the IX Swimming and Diving Championships (all categories, boys and girls); IV of Water Polo (Infantile, Juvenile “A” and Juvenile “B”, boys only, and I of Synchronized Swimming all categories, girls only).
Santo Domingo was the stage for the X Swimming and Diving Championships, the V Water Polo and II Synchronized Swimming Championships, which were held for the first time in that city in February, 1977 Bermuda participated for the first time on this occasion, having become an affiliate of C.C.C.A.N. The XI Swimming and Diving Championships, the VI of Water Polo and III Synchronized Swimming Championships took place in San Cristobal, Venezuela, during the month of August 1979. Two new guests participated for the first time in the Swimming Championships: Guadalupe and Martinique, both affiliated to the French Swimming Federation. At this time, the swimming program recommended by F.I.N.A. was adopted increasing the total number of swimming events from 74 to 84.
The Championships were so successful that their existence and continuity became by threatened this success. This became apparent as difficulties arose in finding a host for the 1981 edition. It became necessary to divide the Championships selecting three different venues, and the XII Swimming Championships were held in Oaxtepec, Mexico in July, 1981, the XII Diving Championships and the IV Synchronized Swimming Championships in Santo Domingo, and the VII Water Polo Championships in Havana, Cuba; during August 1981. Another guest joined the Swimming Championships and the Delegation of Surinam participated for the first time. It was this year that the Water Polo Championships were held in four age groups, as recommended by F.I.N.A.
It was the general feeling that efforts should be made so that the Championships, in the four disciplines of our sport, would again be held simultaneously in the same country. In order to reduce the financial burden on the Host Country, a factor which became very important, as amendment to Chapter XIII of the C.C.C.A.N., Constitution was approved by the Ordinary Congress in Havana in August, 1982 to the effect that the visiting countries would pay the Organizing Committee for each member of their delegation, the sum of money that would be agreed upon at the time the Host was selected, and it was under these conditions that the Dominican Republic became for the third time, host of the XIII Swimming and Diving Championships, and the VIII Water Polo, V Synchronized Swimming Championships which were held with much enthusiasm in Santo Domingo in June, 1983.
In 1985, Oaxtepec, Mexico was the ost for the second time and the XIV Swimming and Diving Championships, the VI Synchronised Swimming Championships and the IX Water Polo Championships were held there.
Antigua-Barbuda participated for the first time as an affiliation of the C.C.C.A.N. In the Congress during this occasion, Puerto Rico requested to be and was selected as the Host country for the next Championships in the four (4) disciplines.
In July, 1987, Salinas, Puerto Rico, was the host for the XV Swimming and Diving Championships and the VII Synchronized Swimming Championships. These were held at the Olympic Training Center while the X Water Polo Championships were held in Ponce. During the competition, the C.C.C.A.N. started to organize clinics for the coaches and judges present.
The Venezuela Swimming Federation was chosen for the second time, to be the Host for the next Championships in 1989. Caracas was the Host city and more than 900 athletes participated establishing a record for the Championships. During the Congress the delegates present agreed to eliminate the Infantile “A” Category (10 years old and under) beginning in 1991 in Mexico, the country chosen to host the next championships.
Merida, Mexico and Havana, Cuba successfully hosted the championships in the four (4) disciplines in 1991 and 1993, respectively. The category 18 to 21 years of age was added to the swimming program. Mexico was chosen again, this time to host the XIX Swimming and Diving Championships, the XIV Water Polo Championships and the XI Synchronized Swimming Championships. With much enthusiasm, Guadalajara received nineteen (19) delegations in July, 1995.
In the Congress held in Guadalajara, the delegates present approved Cuba as the host of the next championships to be held in Havana 1997 included in the summons for this competition will be changes in the disciplines of Water Polo, Diving and Synchronized Swimming that were approved in Guadalajara.
More than 1,000 swimmers (new record) participated in Havana in the C.C.C.A.N. – 1997. In the Extraordinary Congress as part of the 50th. Anniversary of C.C.C.A.N. a homage was paid to Prof. Alfonso Cruz (GUA) and Lic. Antonio Mariscal (MEX), present there as guest, who were the first Vice-President and Secretary – Treasurer of C.C.C.A.N. respectively.
After 26 years, Colombia was the host of the C.C.C.A.N. – 1999 Championships in the city of Medellin. Again more than 1000 athletes participated in the four disciplines. In Swimming the Category of 18 years and over was establised for the first time for both males and females.
In the Extraordinary Congress held in Medellin, the delegates present there desiginated El Salvador and Mexico as host Country and alternate Country resptectively of the next C.C.C.A.N. – 2001 Championships. Both Countries for different reasons could not celebrate the Championships and the Dominican Republic Swimming Federation accepted the challenge and in relatively short time accomplished the compromised mission. It is the first time that the Championships are celebrated with success in two different cities in the same Country, (Swimming and Diving in Santo Domingo; Synchronized Swimming and Water Polo in La Romana).
The City of Mexico, DF celebrated the organization of the 2003 C.C.C.A.N. Championships in the disciplines of Swimming, Diving, Water Polo and Synchronized Swimming during June 30 through July 6th 2003. Nineteen countries were represented in the event. Swimming and Diving were celebrated in the magnificent indoor Olympic Pool where the same disciplines were conducted during the Mexico 1968 Olympic Games; the Synchronized Swimming and the Water Polo were conducted in the Centro Deportivo Olimpico Mexicanco.
The delegtes attending the C.C.C.A.N. Extraordinary Congress celebrated in Mexico City during the same Championships decided by majority of votes to assing to the Dominican Republic the organization of the C.C.C.A.N. 2005 Championships primary due to the fact that they had previous experience organizing the event as they did in 1977, 1983 and 2001 in the four disciplines in addition to organized two disciplines (Diving and Synchronized SwimmingI in the year 1981 when the Championships were celebrated in three different countries. The Dominican Republic Federation organized for the second time the C.C.C.A.N. Championships in two different cities hosting the Swimming, Diving and Synchronized Swimming in the Capital City of Santo Domingo and the Water Polo in the city of Santiago de los Caballeros.
In the the year 2007 El Salvador organized for the third time in their Capital City of San Salvador the C.C.C.A.N. Championships in the disciplines of Swimming, Diving, Synchronized Swimming, Water Polo and for the first time int he history of these Championships in the disciplines of Marathan Swimming in two different distances of Kilometers in both genders and in two different groups of 14 – 17 years of age and 18 years of age and more respectively.
Again there were 19 countries represented with more than 1,000 participants contributing to a successful event.
In the same event in El Salvador at the C.C.C.A.N. Extraordinary Congress held on June 24, 2007 the delegates present there accepted the request from the delegate of Colombia to host the C.C.C.A.N. 2009 Championships in the city of Cartagena in the five disciplines. Subsequently and at the end of the year of 2008 the Colombian Swimming Federation indicated to the C.C.C.A.N. Executive Committee that due to lack of economic support, Colombia could not be able to organized the Championships as previously requested.
The Mexican Swimming Federation offered themselves to save the C.C.C.A.N. 2009 Championships but later they withdrew the offer due to the development of the ‘swine flu’ that apparently started in Mexico City.
At the beginning of the year 2009 and with a short time to organize the C.C.C.A.N. 2009 Championships the Federacion Venezolana de Deportes Acuaticos voluntarily offered themselves to organized the event complying with what they offered, in the city of Barquisimeto in the five disciplines during June 28 through July 6, 2009.
In these C.C.C.A.N. 2009 Championships a new record with more than 1,100 participants representing 19 Federations was established.
During the C.C.C.A.N. Extraordinary Congress celebrated in Barquisimeto the delegates present selected the Dominican Republic by unanimous decision to organize the 2011 Championships after the delegate made a presentation and a request to hold the event.