María Huizar Campos, Small Business Owner
Caja Popular Pío XII - Tlaltenango Branch
Maria always wanted to have her own business so she capitalized on her knowledge of making gorditas (thick corn tortillas generally filled with cheese or meat) and began to market her product. She used the oven in her home to make the gorditas, but found herself unable to keep up with the growing demand. Thanks to the savings Maria had generated in Caja Popular Pío XII, she was able to take out a loan to purchase better equipment to prepare the gorditas.
Maria's product has been popular both locally and regionally. In addition, she has been able to sell it outside of Mexico thanks to the negotiations of public and private institutions in the area.
Maria commented that everything can be achieved in life despite the obstacles that arise in the journey. With work and effort, anything can be accomplished.
“Los Cumplidores” Group
Caja Zongolica - Astacinga Branch
Zacatlaixco, Tehuipango, Veracruz
In February 2009, 16 people in the remote community of Zacatlaixco formed Los Cumplidores group. Today, the group is made up of 28 members - 25 women and three men. Most of the group speaks Náhuatl, and their credit union field officer, Gaspar Zoquitecatl Tehuintle, uses this native language during his visits to the community.
From its formation, the group decided to make minimum individual monthly deposits of 50 pesos. They have continued making the deposits every month.
Group members believe that Gaspar's visits have brought them many advantages, especially not having to spend money on transportation fares to go to the branch office in person. The monthly visits allow them instead to save the money they would normally spend on transport and earn an extra day of work and wages they would typically lose with a visit into town. Group members said one of the biggest advantages is that they have formed a habit of saving, which they previously did not have.
Pascual Martínez, Farmer & Trader
Group Leader - “Venustiano Carranza” Group
Caja Yanga - Coscomatepec Branch
Xocotla, Coscomatepec, Veracruz
Pascual Martínez is group leader of Venustiano Carranza group in the rural community of Xocotla. He has obtained two credit union loans for 15,000 pesos (US$1,170) each to finance his family's maize and limonaria (a decorative foliage) farming activities and to establish a grocery business. Along with his wife, María Rufino Evaristo, Pascual has been able to generate enough income to avoid migrating back to the city in search of employment. As his group leader, Pascual promotes savings and repayment of all loans among the group's members.
Margarita Erape Alejo, Merchant
“Flor de Durazno” Group
Caja Popular Purépero - Numarán Branch
Cañada de Ramírez, Numarán, Michoacán
Margarita, 32, is a merchant, homemaker and mother of two. She learned that Caja Popular Purépero was offering financial services in her community when she attended a local meeting conducted by the credit union's field officer. Margarita said that she had not previously saved in a formal way because she did not know of a financial institution where she could. She believed she would continue saving because she found it to be a great source of funds for growing her business.