Monday, September 21, 2015

Empowering women entrepreneurs in Mexico.

Location: Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
En Vía is a microfinance organization serving the villages surrounding Oaxaca City. I had the pleasure of taking their tour and meeting several of their inspirational borrowers. The tour costs about $45USD, 100% of which becomes microloans. Allow me to share my experience in the hopes that, after this virtual tour, you might be moved to fund a microloan as well!

On the road to San Miguel, Andrea, an En Vía volunteer, introduced us to the program. She explained that the founders of En Vía did a lot of research before committing to the model they use today. And it shows. The program has been hugely successful -- they have a 99% loan repayment rate!!

The basic model is this: three women form a triad of trusted peers, then enroll. They take a business course that covers everything from basic money management to business development. They then receive their first loan. This loan is relatively small, and must be paid off within 15 weeks. All the while, they continue to attend monthly workshops for support. All of this is free: the classes, the workshops... Even the loans themselves are completely interest free.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

How I Oaxaca.

After exploring Oaxaca for four weeks so far (plus four days last year), I don't claim to be an expert. But I've found a handful of places that I absolutely love! If you find yourself in Oaxaca, I highly recommend you check out...

Restaurants and Bars

Calabacitas Tiernas is a charming little hole in the wall. Always vegetarian, often even vegan, the four-course menu del dia is a steal at 90 pesos. Instead of relying on rice, beans, and tortillas to satisfy us vegetarians, Calabacitas Tiernas stuffs their dishes to the brim with fresh produce. Each course is much more fruit and veg than it is filler, and all of it is both delicious and disinfected. My favorite combination!