The rural and semi-rural areas of Baja Verapaz and Alta Verapaz in Guatemala have high rates of poverty. Low access to energy, drinking water, and schooling, not to mention financial exclusion, means that families, and especially women, live in poverty on the margins of society.
EntreTODOS: Community Savings and Credit Groups
At CODESPA, we want to help women find jobs, fund and grow their microenterprises, provide their families with income, and have their voices heard in their homes and communities.
We help them achieve this through grass-roots financial inclusion through the establishment of EntreTODOS, voluntary community savings, and credit groups. The savings and credit groups are groups of people trained to save and contribute a quantity of money periodically to the group and form a common fund to grant loans among their own members. This allows them to generate profits for themselves and have access to liquidity to cover their basic survival needs as well as enable members to access micro-loans for investment provided by the group. Women apply for loans, jointly decide on interest rates and viable investments, and occupy positions of responsibility within the group, helping them not only in economic terms but also, critically, in terms of their self-esteem.
The impact of EntreTODOS
Women can not only save and see their savings increase, they also access micro-credits to invest in their small businesses or increased harvests. We not only help them create and learn to manage these groups but we also support them with professional training and in the management of their small businesses (as well as the creation of new micro-enterprises that allow them to obtain even greater incomes). They invest this income in their communities and in their children so that they do not have to drop out of school.