InFiNe.lu, co-organiser of the European Microfinance Award with e-MFP and the MAEE, was in Mexico last month to pay a visit to Cooperativa de Ahorro y Préstamo Tosepantomin, the winner of the 2017 European Microfinance Award on “Microfinance for Housing. The objective of the fieldtrip was to witness what has been achieved and implemented with the Award and its impact.

Cooperativa de Ahorro y Préstamo Tosepantomin (Tosepantomin Savings and Credit Cooperative, which means « money for all » in Nahuatl) is a Mexican cooperative that provides financial services to people in the Sierra Nororiental region of Puebla State, Mexico. The region’s population is predominantly indigenous (Nahuas and Tutunakus), with limited access to financial services. The majority of Tosepantomin members are indigenous (78%) and women (64%).

This 2-minute video features Tosepantomin a year after it won the European Microfinance Award:

Tosepantomin won the 2017 Award in recognition of its housing programme which supports marginalised and rural Mexican communities through sustainable housing construction projects that provide housing savings and credit products coupled with technical assistance.

Tosepantomin’s Housing Programme allows its members to build a new house:

Before the housing programme                                         After the housing programme

            

                     

            

            

It also allows to improve its members’ house:

Maria tiled her house and bathroom. She is planning, in a second phase, to secure her house by installing a door   

Tosepantomin uses a holistic approach in its technical support:

It promotes the use of local and responsible materials, the use of natural resources through the installation of solar panels, and advises on healthier and more efficient equipment such as ecological stoves (for cooking and heating) with smoke ejected outside the house or rainwater collectors that is cleverly naturally filtered.

Those panels were placed by a group of young people as part of a training organised by Tosepantomin with the Award money. These young people will soon gather in cooperative to accompany families wishing to instal solar panels in their homes. In the meantime, a pilot project has tested the solar panels used for lighting in 2 families . The project is a success: Tosepantomin is currently developing a specific loan to meet the needs.