The community bank of Pueblo Nuevo is one of the most mature and developed community banks in Panama. Founded in 2014, it has done an outstanding work in bringing about financial inclusion to the community of Pueblo Nuevo. 5 years back, their dream was to have a physical office at their community and to become a space for women’s empowerment for Pueblo Nuevo. Nonetheless, similar to other communities in the region, the community bank performance is closely linked to the overall community development. Given this case, agriculture, construction and tourism play an important role in generating employment and income; and based on a supply and demand logic, the community bank’s performance is also subject to the uncertainty, volatility and complexity of rural areas in Panama. On the other hand, this also represents an excellent opportunity for thinking outside the box and explore alternative approaches and innovations for financial inclusion and economic development in Pueblo Nuevo.
The community bank of Pueblo Nuevo has created a reserve fund called “Flor de Madre”, this fund is financed by the sales of artisan work donated by women of the community, which is used for solidarity initiatives in the community, such as medical emergencies, funerals, cultural events, and others. The community bank members are really proud of their contributions to improve their community and support those in need. Additionally, the community bank of Pueblo Nuevo have built their own physical offices, which they have developed little by little and proudly continues to grow and be the space where people get to access financial services in the community.
The community bank of Pueblo Nuevo is a top performer, known by many as the Real Madrid or Barcelona of all community banks due to their outstanding performance in all key indicators, including 0% default rates, outstanding attendance rates and share contribution of its members.
Pueblo Nuevo is also referred to by Global Brigades staff as the ‘school of treasurers’, given that 2 of their former treasurers have been hired by Global Brigades for the World Bank pilot project for the Economic Empowerment of Indigenous Women in Panama. Yet, there are always new things to learn and, given the amount of transactions, the treasurer now wants to learn how to conduct and income statement in order to provide the community bank membership with updates on the financials of the community banks.
The tasks thatCommunity Bank Pueblo Nuevo has prioritized are:
Page Last Updated:December 13, 2019