Events / News

Published on 17/12/2020

Savings and Internal Lending Community (SILC) group generates capital to improve infrastructure for honey and rose production

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The SILC methodology is a holistic, savings-led microfinance approach that provides vulnerable households with the structure to save and borrow to increase their income, which is promoted by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and its partners through the Communities Leading Development (CLD). SILC groups are based on traditional saving practices and offer the opportunity for men, women, youth and others to better manage their existing resources by teaching them financial management skills.

The SILC group in Nuevas Maravillas, in the municipality of Sibinal, San Marcos was formed in August 2018 with 15 members; eight women and seven men. Through a training process they learned to adopt a habit of regular savings and to use loans responsibly. During their first savings cycle (10 months), group members saved a total of $3,961.00 USD.

The SILC group has enabled two of the group members to grow their livelihoods: Andrés Roblero, group member and honey producer, took on a loan for $600 USD to purchase a honey extractor, which he previously had to rent for $40 USD per day. Andrés is managing to cover his family’s (food and education?) expenses, in part, thanks to his honey. “I have an annual production of 450 pounds of honey, and I sell 100 pounds for $93 USD,” he said.

Eddy Vásquez saved and invested $267 USD to purchase nylon tarp for his new rose greenhouse. Eddy hopes to produce 25 to 30 dozen roses per week once production starts, generating revenue of $67 to $80 USD a week in the Chiapas, Mexico market.

Andrés, Eddy and their group are currently in their second savings cycle, with the group hoping to continue generating capital to support productive processes that generate economic income and improve the quality of life for their families and community. Andrés dreams of improving the marketing of his honey; as he says, “there is always room for improvements, in the next savings cycle I will save to print out my labels and my logo.”.

Under the premise that stronger families lead to a stronger community, CLD is working with some of the country´s most marginalized populations to develop the framework that supports self-sustainability and prosperity, encouraging families to stay close to home.