Business Overview

The community bank of Zapallal was founded in 2015.Through their incredible hard work they have been able to build a physical office where they can have meetings every week. They are looking to expand their membership.

Community Bank - Zapallal, Panama

Economic Challenge

The Caja Rural of Zapallal is located at one of the most centric places of Darien. The membership of the community bank remains relatively low (15) compared to Zapallal’s population (+2,000). Regardless, it is important to highlight that the members of the Caja Rural are in general in worse-off conditions to access credit and savings in the community, given that they are mostly farmers and/or dedicated to economic activities within the informal sector. On the other hand, the community bank of Zapallal has shown a remarkable performance in the past 2 years; they have motivated group with an immense potential to grow in membership and performance even further.

The Business

The Caja Rural of Zapallal has built their physical office during 2019 and they are excited to start 2020 in their new office! They are still working on finalizing some construction details and they have in mind making it even bigger as they plan to increase their membership.

Competitive Advantage

The leadership of women in the community bank of Zapallal is undeniable, they recently supported the creation of a new community bank and participated as guest speakers. The leaders have provided deep insights and advice to the recently created community bank of Cañazas de Tortí, a testament of their leadership and commitment in bringing financial inclusion to all people in Eastern Panama and Darién!


Their main obstacle is their lack of knowledge in terms of marketing strategies to promote the community bank; as well as the reluctance of people of Zapallal to join the community bank. Strategies/tactics to reach out to more people and increase membership are strong needs of this community bank.

Business Snapshot

Loans administered since 2016
Savings at EOY 2019
Loan Fund at EOY 2019

Next Steps

The tasks thatCommunity Bank has prioritized are:

The tasks that Community Bank Zapallal has prioritized are:

1: Conducting an audit to the community bank's savings/loan portfolio books together with the treasurer
2: Gathering savings data for community bank members (per individual from 2015 up to now).
3: Leadership workshop for the leadership board and members of the community bank
4: Develop a Marketing Strategy

Page Last Updated:February 26, 2020