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Sunday, April 19, 2015

En Via, Microfinancing Women in Oaxaca

I love this organization.  They loan small amounts of money to small groups of women, based on the model of microfinance in India.  They only loan to women, they must be in groups of three, and once they have paid the money back they are eligible for another loan.  Since it is realistically impossible for a woman with no credit history and little capital to get a loan at a reasonable rate, this is a way to make a real difference in people's lives.

En Via raises its money for loans by doing tours in Teotitlan, where a small group of people visit the businesses of women who have received micro loans from En Via.  The women talk about their business and what the loans have allowed them to accomplish in their lives.  As the visitor, you get the opportunity to walk into people's businesses and in some cases their homes and learn what it is like to start and run a  business in rural Mexico.  You can ask questions about many things that would be on the edge of indelicate to outright inappropriate to ask a business owner, and so you can really immerse yourself in the country for a day.  This is the second time I have taken this tour, and if anything it was better the second time than the first  And I bought a rug directly from the weaver, in her house. 

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