The California Credit Union League (CCUL) recently sent a delegation to Guanajuato, Mexico to visit Caja Popular Mexico (CPM), the country's largest credit union and CCUL's partner in the World Council of Credit Unions' (WOCCU) International Partnerships program. The purpose of the visit was to discuss matters such as the International Remittance Network (IRnet), marketing, ATM networks and shared branching. Development on these fronts is important for reducing the high number of unbanked Hispanic citizens on both sides of the border.
Delegates included Altura Credit Union CEO Mark Hawkins, and board members Cathy Nava and Ofelia Valdez-Yeagar; Arrowhead Credit Union board chairman Marie Alonzo, board member Alex Alonzo, and vice president branch manager Joe Hernandez; Family Federal Credit Union assistant manager Lourdes Ramirez; Food Processors Credit Union community development director Sandell McLaughlin; Mission Area Federal Credit Union CEO Salvador Duran; Pasadena Federal Credit Union CEO Shruti Miyashiro; Water & Power Community Credit Union CEO Carl Stewart; Wescom Credit Union CEO Darren Williams and vice president of business and government affairs Yesceni Ramirez; Xerox Federal Credit Union CEO Bill Cheney; and CCUL manager of international relations Letty Cordon- Hernandez.
During their visit, the delegates met with CPM CEO Ramón Imperial Zuniga, COO Cirilo Rivera Rivera, CFO David Torres Ramírez, regional manager Fermín Olalde Balderas, director of administrative services Alfonso Garcia Moreno, director of IT Rene Vasquez, marketing manager Lorena Susana Mendoza and WOCCU project director Mario Galaragga. They also toured CPM's central office, several of its branches and WOCCU's Mexico office. The trip proved a great success, strengthening an important partnership.
International Partnerships pairs credit unions in developing countries with those in developed countries to promote mutual knowledge exchange and growth. CCUL and CPM are unique in the Partnerships program because they have a third partner, the Texas Credit Union League (TCUL). The three partners share a unique relationship, culturally and geographically, that permits them to address issues affecting the Mexican and Mexican-American populations very effectively.
World Council of Credit Unions is the global trade association and development agency for credit unions. World Council promotes the sustainable development of credit unions and other financial cooperatives around the world to empower people through access to high quality and affordable financial services. World Council advocates on behalf of the global credit union system before international organizations and works with national governments to improve legislation and regulation. Its technical assistance programs introduce new tools and technologies to strengthen credit unions' financial performance and increase their outreach.
World Council has implemented more than 290 technical assistance programs in 71 countries. Worldwide, 56,000 credit unions in 101 countries serve 200 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.