Business Overview

The community bank of Ipetí Guna was founded on July 17th 2015. It is composed of 60 active members, of which 92% is women, including the strong executive board that leads this remarkable group.

Community Bank Ipetí Guna - Ipetí Guna, Panamá

Economic Challenge

The Caja Rural of Ipetí Guna has recently acquired a loan through Kiva for the construction of their physical office, which represents a major milestone for the Caja Rural. Regardless, this milestone also comes with the challenge of strengthening their strategy to pay back the loan as a group. Each Caja Rural member is paying a weekly contribution to pay back the loan, yet they are also currently in the definition of alternative strategies to fundraise and pay back the loan quicker and through other income sources different from their savings accounts and other individual’s income sources.

The Business

The Caja Rural of Ipetí Guna is at the semi-autonomous indigenous territory of Guna Madugandí, our work in this community has been successful mainly through the constant communication and coordination with the ‘Zaila’ (traditional authority) of the community. Therefore, the work in this community requires of high cultural sensitivity and respect for their local worldviews, knowledge and practices.

Competitive Advantage

The Caja Rural of Ipetí Guna has the highest value of savings across all community banks. They have won several prizes as the community bank that saves the most; as well as the one with the highest membership. They have had a recent change in their executive board composition with a new president, being this the first time that the community bank of Ipetí Guna has a 100% female leadership board.


There is a need to strengthen the Caja Rural leadership team in order to push through the current challenge ahead. The new female president requires all the possible support in strengthening her leadership and also of developing an active and motivated Caja Rural membership.

Business Snapshot

Active Loans
Active Loan Amount

Next Steps

The tasks thatCommunity Bank Ipetí Guna has prioritized are:

1: Strengthen the community bank leadership board through leadership workshops (board only)
2: Develop a leadership workshop with all community bank stakeholders
3: Gather savings data from community bank
4: Conduct an income statement for the Caja Rural of Ipetí Guna.

Page Last Updated:December 12, 2019