FINCA Costa Rica works to improve socioeconomic conditions and quality of life for the poorest families in Costa Rica, especially those living in rural areas. Their primary model to achieve this goal is through the establishment of community-run micro-credit groups known as ECCs (Empresas de Credito Comunal). The ECCs are owned by local residents and work to provide financial services to their members that help them develop productive activities and reinvest in their communities.
EMPRESAS de CREDITO COMUNAL
Once the ECC assembles and repairs the bikes, they are sold at modest prices within the community and the revenue is funneled back into the ECC to support members' micro-businesses or other activities. Those businesses may be a small market, clothing shop, or repair business for example. Each ECC model differs and is tailored to best support the community it serves. Bikes for the World visited two Empresas during the trip to Costa Rica.
|Antonio and Eduviges|
We spoke with several bike beneficiaries during our visit to this community. Eduviges works on a farm harvesting mamón chino or rambutan, a grape-like fruit. She used to leave at 5am to complete her two hour commute on foot. It now takes less than an hour, leaving her more time to tend to household chores.
Antonio is a young boy who comes from a very poor family. He became involved with the ECC and started helping with their activities, including unloading the container of bikes from Bikes for the World. In exchange for his hard work the ECC gifted him a bicycle that he now uses for everything.
EC SAN FRANCISCO
Danny uses his bike for school and recreation. Biking is a growing form of recreation in the area where young people don't have many extra-curricular activities. Danny also uses his bike to help his mom with errands at her small shop in the town center about a mile away from their home. Danny often lets some of the younger boys who don't have bikes ride his bike to practice their riding skills.
MORE PHOTOS FROM OUR VISIT TO CANALETE
MORE PHOTOS FROM OUR VISIT TO SAN FRANCISCO
Read about our first stop on the Central America Trip: Visit To Panama