Bartolo Perez: A Chronology of The Life of a YCW Activist Who Remained a YCW Activist All His Life

Bartolo 1

Bartolo Perez was born in São Paulo (Brazil) on November 20, 1925.

He was a teacher and trainer at the University of Porto Alegre. Of Spanish origin, his parents, Francisco and Josefa, arrived in Brazil during the immigration period in the early 20th century.

At the age of 14, he began working as an apprentice turner in a small auto parts factory. It was in this factory, in 1942, that 16-year-old Bartolo Perez met young Emídio, a YCW activist who helped him look at reality: "I was very curious to know what dignity was, what it meant," Bartolo said in an interview a few years ago.

Thus, the young worker’s awareness was raised and he started carrying out militant actions with his comrades. One of the first actions was to go to the union to denounce the working situation of young people in the factory.

This is how Bartolo joined the YCW group in the Mooca neighborhood in the Sao Paulo region.

Bartolo was part of the action plan that triggered the 1st National Congress of Young Workers and the 1st National Congress of Domestic Workers, among many other processes that marked the history of the YCW and the history of the Brazilian and international working class.

He was a local and regional leader. He was president of the National Council of the YCW. He contributed to the creation of the YCW in Uruguay and in other countries.

When the first International Congress of the YCW was held in Rome in 1957, Bartolo, along with 183 young Brazilians, set out to build the International YCW (IYCW), together with young people from 82 other countries.

Bartolo 3

In 1962, elected international president of the IYCW, he left for Belgium and lived there with his wife Candida.

In 1966, upon their return to Brazil, they decided to live in Porto Alegre, near Candida's parents. They could count on the solidarity of YCW members to settle down and start their lives again on a new basis.

In the capital of Rio Grande do Sul, he completed his basic studies with courses for adults, and then obtained a degree in pedagogy at the FAPA (University of Porto Alegre) where he taught for many years.

As an active activist, he participated in the SINPRO/RS (Teachers' Union of Rio Grande do Sul), contributed to the foundation of the Association of Retired Teachers of Private Educational Institutions of Rio Grande do Sul, and fiercely defended the rights of the elderly.

Always a YCW member, with different generations of activists, he worked on the publishing of the book "Juventude, Trabalho, Vida: uma história de desafios - JOC no Brasil, 1935 a 1985" and of the "Boletín Solidariedade" of which he was the editor for almost 10 years.

The Brazilian Young Christian Workers, through their former and current activists, thank Bartolo for all his life, for his commitment and for his solidarity with the working class in our country, especially with the working youth. Following the death of Bartolo, we would like to express our support to his family and our solidarity.


Bartolo 2

Related Articles

About the International Cardijn Association


The International Cardijn Association (ICA) is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to serve the present and future generations of young workers throughout the world.

Officially created in September 1998 on the initiative of the International YCW, the ICA mission is to provide financial support to the projects implemented by young workers in order to improve their capacities to take responsibilities and to change their living and working conditions. In this direction those young people can find the place they deserve in society and the dignity inherent in all human beings.

Throughout his life, Cardijn, who founded the International YCW in 1957, never ceased to disseminate his message that “Each young worker is worth more than all the gold in the world.” Convinced that this message is still true today, the ICA wants to help young people – apprentices or unemployed, domestic workers, workers in the informal economy, casual workers, those exploited in export-processing zones, those excluded from society – to carry out projects which will allow them to live with dignity.

 For its functioning, the ICA relies on a team of volunteers who are involved in raising funds. Those funds come from donations by people or movements wishing to support a just cause: that of young workers. The capital is invested ethically and the interests are used to fund projects which are initiated by movements or groups of young workers who struggle to change their living and working conditions. Decent jobs, reasonable working hours, adequate salaries, weekly day-offs, the eradication of sexual and moral harassment, social protection for all … are the focus of the struggle to be carried out in a globalized world, where human beings often feel powerless when faced with walls of injustice.
By providing financial support to young workers’ projects, the ICA simply wants to contribute to building a society with more justice and a world with more solidarity.