WOCCU Partnership Meeting Builds on ICU Day Activities
Staff from Costa Rican credit union COOPESERVIDORES, R.L. "hike the
hill" to support WOCCU'S advocacy efforts on International Credit Union
Day in Washington, D.C. (from left to right: Juan Carlos Li Guzmán,
Commercial Director; Victoria Hernández Mora, Director; Oscar Hidalgo
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Branding, lobbying and
building awareness are universal challenges facing
credit unions. Representatives from nine of the
World Council of Credit Unions’ (WOCCU’s)
International Partnerships Program met Oct. 19 to
discuss these and other issues facing credit
unions operating both within and beyond U.S.
borders. The group of 19 partnership
representatives met the day following advocacy
efforts to help celebrate International Credit
Union Day, according to Victor Miguel Corro,
WOCCU’s International Partnerships manager.
Participants represented the following
- Jamaica – Texas Credit Union League
- Caja Popular Mexicana, Mexico – Texas Credit
Union League and the California Credit Union
- Bolivia – Ohio Credit Union League
- Costa Rica – Alabama Credit Union League
- Puerto Rico – New York Credit Union League
- Guatemala – Virginia Credit Union League
- Bahamas – Massachusetts Credit Union League
- Peru – Vermont Credit Union League
- Nicaragua – Maryland and Washington, D.C.
Credit Union League
Participants came from nine of the 22 partnerships
WOCCU currently supports. Seven more partnerships
are under development, Corro added.
Representatives briefed the group about the
successes and challenges their partnerships have
experienced, as well as plans for the future.
Discussions also focused on raising awareness,
information technology, shared branching and
The program’s featured presentation was made by
Oscar Hidalgo Chaves, CEO of CoopeServidores in
Costa Rica. Hidalgo, who had been in Alabama on a
partnership visit the week before the workshop,
talked about credit unions in Costa Rica, the
history of the Federation of Cooperatives of Costa
Rica (FEDEAC) and also about his credit union’s
partnership with Family Security Credit Union in
“I didn’t know what to expect on sophistication
and size [of the credit unions in Costa Rica],”
said Vicki Williams, SEVP & COO of Alabama League
of her league’s partnership with Costa Rica. “I
thought they would all be small, but they had very
professional offices and great community
Most of the briefings were conducted casually to
help foster discussions among the participants,
many of whom offered individual perspectives
valuable to the discussion.
“It is the commitment to the industry and the
credit union philosophy really transcends
borders,” said Carlos Calderon, president/CEO of
OAS Staff Federal Credit Union, Washington, D.C.
“WOCCU did a good job moving that forward and
making the world aware that [a credit union] is
not a charity organization.”
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, 57,000 credit unions in 105 countries serve 217 million people. Learn more about World Council's impact around the world at www.woccu.org.
Contact: Rebecca Carpenter
Organization: World Council of Credit Unions