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Casa Tabor papers

Identifier: Ms-0489

Scope and Content

The collection is divided into four series: correspondence, Tabor records, journals and Tadeo (Spike) Zywicki. The first series is the largest; it contains letters from Tabor members and Latin American contacts dating from 1973 and the beginnings of the Tabor Community in Washington D.C.

Parts of the collection address the conditions and concerns regarding Latin American countries, several folders relate to Cuba, particularly in the 1980s. Note all names were filed in the same headings as they were brought in by the donor.


  • 1968-2011
  • Majority of material found in Placeholder Unit Date Text

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open. All materials in this collection are available for research under supervised conditions in the Research Room.

Copy Restrictions

Copyrights associated with materials in this collection have not been transferred to New Mexico State University.

Biography / History

The co-founders of the Casa Tabor (Tabor House) Community are Peter Hinde, a Catholic priest of the Carmelite Order, Elizabeth (Betty) Campbell a Religious Sister of Mercy along with Mercy Sister Mary Sears and Tadeo (Spike) Zywicki. Casa Tabor opened its doors in Washington, D.C., in 1973; in San Antonio, Texas, in 1983; and in its present location in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, in 1995.

Casa Tabor takes its name from the Biblical “Mountain of the Transfiguration of Jesus.” The main purpose for the founders in creating the Tabor House Community was to bring awareness to the United States regarding the “abusive character of U.S. foreign policy to Latin America” and to support the victims of those abuses. Tabor House opened in Washington, D.C., on September 11, 1973, coinciding with the U.S.-backed military coup against socialist Chilean President Salvador Allende. The house was soon providing support for political exiles and refugees fleeing repressive military regimes in Latin America, with the membership growing to more than 20 individuals. During the 1970s and 1980s, Hinde, Campbell and Zywicki promoted a North-South solidarity network across the Americas through frequent trips through Latin America as well as talk-tours and publications in the United States. By the early 1980s, Tabor members had helped start in Washington, D.C. solidarity offices with Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. They started Tabor House communities in San Antonio and Ciudad Juarez to further these international connections and to draw attention to the detrimental social and economic effects of U.S. governmental and corporate interests in Latin America, and to provide an alternative vision to promote social justice and international grassroots solidarity.

Since its founding, Tabor House has had over 100 members and thousands of visitors. While some fled repression in various Latin American countries, others came from Catholic Worker or other activist communities to promote peace and justice. The organization also provides support and hospitality for those in need of assistance on the streets and in the local community. The Casa Tabor collection documents the activities of both those within the organization and those who have sought its assistance over the years.

Peter Hinde was born in 1923 in Elyria, Ohio, and grew up in Chicago. Hinde studied engineering at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago; served in the Army Air Force in the Pacific from 1942 to 1946; professed his vows as a Carmelite in 1947; and was ordained a Catholic priest in 1952. He served as a professor in the Carmelite school and seminary system until 1961. He became heavily involved with the African-American Civil Rights Movement from 1961 to 1965. That year he joined the Carmelite mission in Sicuani, Peru, where he served until 1973. While in Peru, he joined local clergy in pastoral work inspired by the Latin Bishops’ Conference in Medellin and the Theology of Liberation. He moved to Washington, D.C., in 1973, where he co-founded Casa Tabor.

Elizabeth (Betty) Campbell was born in Davenport, Iowa, where she worked as a graduate nurse prior to professing her vows as a Sister of Mercy in 1955. She served as a midwife in Sicuani, Peru, from 1962 to 1973, returning to the United States in 1973 to establish Casa Tabor with Hinde. While in Peru, she worked as a nurse, promoted public health, and directed the town polyphonic choir.

Tadeo (Spike) Zywicki was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was disabled from polio and orphaned around 1910-11, and spent part of his youth working as a printer’s assistant and runner on Wall Street. He worked as a civilian in the Pentagon Navel Department from 1937 to 1947. He worked as a Catholic Worker in a variety of houses and served as a papal volunteer in Mexico from 1963-1973. He was a co-founder and member of Casa Tabor until his death in the summer of 2003.

Mary Sears, also a Sister of Mercy, served as a professor at Mercy Sisters’ St. Xavier College in Chicago until 1973. During the summer of 1973 she helped with the creation of Casa Tabor, and during her two years with the Washington, D.C., community she taught ESL at the nearby Dominican Sisters school and worked in the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ Conference. After leaving Casa Tabor, she did pastoral work in the diocese of Phoenix, Arizona.


12.00 linear feet (30 boxes)


Father Peter Hinde, O. Carm, and Sister Elizabeth (Betty) Campbell, RSM, were the co-founders if the Tabor House Community in 1973 in Washington D.C along with Mercy Sister Mary Sears and Tadeo (Spike) Zywicki. The files within this collection include information on disappearances and repression in Latin America.

Related Material

Esther Chávez Cano collection. Ms 0471. New Mexico State University Library, Archives and Special Collections Department.

RG2009-039 Peter Hinde and Betty Campbell. New Mexico State University Library, Archives and Special Collections Department.

RG2011-030 Peter Hinde and Betty Campbell. New Mexico State University Library, Archives and Special Collections Department.

Separated Material

Includes publications relating to Latin America which was collected during their work in Cuidad Juarez which will be transferred to Special Collections. (RG2009-039)

Processing Information

Processed by Jennifer Chavez and Linday Selters, 2013.
Guide to the Casa Tabor papers, 1968-2011
Edited Full Draft
Jennifer Chavez
© 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the New Mexico State University Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Branson Hall
PO Box 30006
MSC 3475
Las Cruces New Mexico 88003 USA