First Latin American Members Regional Forum an "Overwhelming Success"
Guatemalan representatives visit Coopealianza Credit Union.
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica—More than 230 Latin
American credit union leaders attended the first
World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU)
Latin American Members Regional Forum June 21-22
in San Jose, Costa Rica. The landmark event was
funded by the David L. Chatfield International
The purpose of the forum was to highlight
innovative practices from credit unions within
Latin America and the United States. To
encourage participation, the forum was offered
for free to all members and supporters. Sparked
enthusiasm for the event drew close to 100 more
participants than originally planned.
Patrick Truninger, formerly of the California
Credit Union League and now Vice President –
Dealer Direct with Arrowhead Credit Union,
presented a session describing indirect auto-
lending, a practice not yet done in Latin
CEO Manuel Bolaños, FEDEAC, gives a presentation on the Costa Rican movement's experience of crisis and recovery.
CEO Rocío Miyashiro presented ABACO
Union's innovative approach to helping small,
Peruvian businesses receive lines of credit and
payments from vendors that sell their products in
A presentation from Manuel Bolaños, CEO
Costa Rica's FEDEAC, helped participants learn
from past crises situations in Costa Rica's
movement and offered preventative measures Latin
American credit unions could take for future
SINCREDI's João Tavares shared its
experience and success with agriculture lending
The Forum also offered tours of four Costa
credit unions in San Jose. Attendees were so
interested in the tours that they overbooked.
"These kinds of events are of great importance
for the development and strengthening of the
Latin American movement and the projects that
WOCCU supports," Liliana Rinckoar, CEO of Confiar
in Colombia and a forum presenter,
commented. "Supporting credit unions allows us to
reach out to more people in our countries."
WOCCU Senior Manager of Association Services,
Dave Grace, echoed Rinckoar's comments. "During
the Forum, I was personally shocked to learn how
little interaction there is among credit union
and federation leaders in Central and South
America," he said. "The networking at these
events is as equally important as business
practices, and populations are increasingly fluid
in Central America. This forum will make great
strides in helping credit unions share
The David L. Chatfield International Training
Fund was created by the California and Nevada
Credit Unions Leagues to provide professional
training in areas such as lending, technology and
governance, to credit union professionals in the
developing world. Representatives from Ecuador,
Panama, Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, El
Salvador, Brazil, Nicaragua, Peru, Dominican
Republic, Colombia and the Confederation of Latin
American Credit Unions broke out in applause in
recognition of the leagues and the Chatfield Fund
in making the meeting possible.
WOCCU CEO Pete Crear, who attended the event,
applauded its overwhelming success. "The meeting
was a terrific showcase of WOCCU's capability,
far exceeding our initial attendance goal, and
featured topics for a progressive credit union
movement like Latin America's," he said. "This
meeting easily became the standard by which
others will be judged."
For more information on how to make a U.S. tax-
deductible contribution to the David L. Chatfield
International Training Fund, please contact
Valerie Breunig, Worldwide Foundation Funds
Manager, 608-231-7353 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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.