MicroCredit Identifies Loan Opportunities in Petac
On a recent trip to Petac, Mexico, the UST MicroCredit Program identified new opportunities to grant microcredit loans to Petac residents involved in a variety of industries.
The MicroCredit Program is a student-operated non-profit organization which assists micro entrepreneurs living below the poverty threshold to start income generating businesses. The program seeks to promote freedom, fairness and democracy around the world by endorsing basic principles of microentrepreneurship, self-employment, property rights, and wealth accumulation, while integrating the Catholic values of the University of St. Thomas.
The MicroCredit Program will further their endeavors at their second annual Dum Spiro fundraiser at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5 in Scanlan Room, Jerabeck Center on the UST campus, 4000 Mt. Vernon.
Dr. Rogelio Garcia-Contreras, assistant professor of international studies, and UST three students – Thomas Mendez, Murielle Blaczon and Renee McKeon -- traveled to Petac, a small Mayan town in the Yucatan peninsula known for its production of honey. They met with representatives from Tropical Honey, a company in the region to advocate for local Petac residents who seek microcredit loans to produce honey.
The MicroCredit Program is also working with Petac residents to finance school and artisan loans.
“We are hoping to make the dreams come true for individuals in Petac, such as Margele and Marlene who work full time and want loans so they can go to school, or Doña Fina who only needs capital to produce artisan handicrafts,” said Thomas Mendez, a UST senior and MicroCredit president. “She is a wonderful artisan, but she just doesn't have the money to buy the raw material she needs. Working with these beneficiaries will also give UST students first-hand experience with microfinance.”
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Shown above are Dr. Garcia-Contreras, Murielle Blaczon, Renee McKeon and Thomas Mendez pose with children in Petac.