Business Overview

The community bank of Arimae was founded in 2014 and are in the process of building the physical structure for their community bank. They were able to achieve this through a KIVA loan and are currently in their second loan to purchase office equipment.

Community Bank Arimae - Arimae, Panamá

Economic Challenge

The community bank of Arimae, located in the Collective Lands Indigenous Territories of Darién is one of the oldest community banks created by Global Brigades. The community bank offers access to affordable financial services to Arimae’s community members. The community of Arimae does not have access to financial services such as savings and loans, the closest options are often too far, or too difficult to reach due to cultural, geographical/logistical and monetary reasons. There is a common discriminatory bias from Panamanian society that indigenous people cannot save, because they are poor. Therefore, due to this bias and the fact that most indigenous peoples in the region are in the informal sector, they are all excluded from accessing basic financial services, such as a savings account. Additionally, the distance and poor public transportation system limits communities in the region to be able to reach local commercial banks and the cost and requirements to open a savings account are unattainable for most people from Arimae.

The Business

They currently have a KIVA loan to purchase office equipment for their community bank. This is the second KIVA loan they receive as a group.

Competitive Advantage

The community bank of Arimae is recently finishing their community bank offices, where they are planning to organize community bank activities and increase their membership through promotional campaigns during those events.


The membership of Arimae has remained robust, nonetheless, it has not shown significant growth in recent years. They are working on that challenge currently, yet they also would like to learn how to learn more about accounting and finance for the better management of the community bank.

Next Steps

The tasks thatCommunity Bank Arimae has prioritized are:

1: Conducting an income statement of the community bank
2: Auditing and analyzing savings data information from financial books 2014-2019 monthly)
3: Conducting a leadership workshop with community bank members and the tourism groups.

Page Last Updated:December 13, 2019