The majority of community members in Fray Lazaro grow corn for sustenance. Others work on nearby shrimp farms and sugarcane factories to earn money. This work is generally seasonal and does not provide steady employment. 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 micro-enterprises to grow and thrive.
The community bank in Fray Lazaro was established in June 2013. It provides financial services such as loans and savings accounts to community members. One of its main tasks has been financing public health projects in the community. Women in the community established a bakery in November 2015 and will have their own building with support of Global Brigades. The bakery will be the main supplier of fresh baked goods, as the closest bakery is closest 30 minutes away. Recently two of the women owners of the El Canton bakery traveled to train the 28 women who are also community bank members will run the micro-enterprise in Fray Lazaro.
Page Last Updated:October 23, 2017