Many of the community members in El Ojochal grow corn on their own land. When they have surplus crops, they sell them for a small profit. Some also work on local shrimp farms and watermelon plantations, however, it is not stable work, as they only hire on a daily basis, and harvest is seasonal. This makes generating a stable income virtually impossible. Prior to the creation of the community bank, community members could not access formal financial institutions. They were inaccessible due to distance and cost. They also generally did not approve loans to community members as they do not have a fixed income. This made it very difficult for local microenterprises to grow and thrive.
El Ojochal now has a Community Bank, established with GB’s support, that provides loan and savings services to community members allowing for business development. In 2014 a Agricultural Supplies Store was established in the community. The store provides community members with access to necessary agricultural products such as fertilizer and seeds. Prior to its inauguration, farmers had to travel to nearby cities to obtain these goods, which added significant cost. The owners of the agricultural store now travel to the city of San Lorenzo, purchase in bulk, and sell the goods at a slight mark-up. This enables them to garner a profit. Community members, on the other hand, actually save money and time by purchasing from the agricultural store as they do not need to make the costly trip to the city. The store made a profit of $600 during the first months of operations.
Page Last Updated: October 23, 2017