envia payments

I have volunteered with EnVia over the past five years plus, teaching English in Teotitlan del Valle and Tlacochahuaya in summers and during my sabbatical in Fall 2012. The warm people and rewarding work are reasons I return to serve. Another reason is the program’s unique model that involves tours as a way to get investors in the communities as well as weekly visits to each community to collect the funds from the women who’ve received loans.I recently had a chance to accompany EnVia on one of these weekly visits as they stopped in Teotitlan del Valle.

We arrived at a grantees shop, and she helped set up a table where staff member Kim would receive visitors and payments.

The woman who welcomed use of her space went about covering her goods, putting away her sewing machine, securing the area and making way for her peers to gather.

A couple of borrowers came in to pay as soon as we were set up; others arrived later. During this time, they have a chance to share successes and challenges and to pay back a fraction of their income for the week.

I can’t imagine my mortgage company, for example, requiring a weekly checkin (even by email), but, as long as it can be sustained (and especially in a cash-based society such as Oaxaca), this approach fosters community building and has an incredible return rate and allows EnVia to continue providing interest-free loans.

Envia van

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