Teresa Garcias runs a small grocery store (a miscellaneous store) in Nogales, Mexico. She buys products in bulk and sells them in her neighborhood. She has been living in Nogales for 19 years and started working with ProMex Group in 2006. Her current loan is for US$1,000.
Alfredo Martinez operates a small grocery store from a room connected to his home. He buys products at larger stores and sells them to his neighbors in Nogales, Mexico. He has been running this business for 4 years and has been borrowing from ProMex Group for 2 years. His inventory and sales have dramatically increased.
Jesus Brigido has a bakery in Nogales, Mexico. He is originally from Puebla but has lived in Nogales for 27 years. He has been with ProMex Group microfinance project since 2010. His current loan is for US$1,000.
He has two employees at his bakery and produces about 6,000 pieces of bread each week. His bakery is part of his home. He used his loan to buy equipment and expand his business. He has three kids and their lives have improved greatly because of the success of his business and ProMex Group.
The United States (US) spends billions of dollars each year to keep Mexicans and Central Americans out of our country with mixed results and this strategy only addresses a symptom of the problem. The root of the problem is that there is a huge income and wealth disparity between neighboring countries that is not being addressed.
ProMex Group is a model of another approach to address illegal immigration. It is a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit microfinance organization working in the northern border cities of Mexico. It strives to alleviate poverty and economically forced migration by providing disadvantaged Mexicans with access to capital and education to start and grow small businesses.
Señora Martinez was interviewed at the Nogales, Mexico Expo Oct 29, 2011. The Expo was put on by a charitable non-profit microcredit organization supported by ProMex Group. Her business is making wedding dresses and accessories. She has been in business for 20 years. She borrowed 5,000 pesos (US$420) six months earlier to purchase an electric sewing machine. The new sewing machine allows her to work faster and produce more and better quality products.
Señor & Señora Rodriguez are in the food preparation business. They have three children. This business is their entire income.
They borrowed 2,200 pesos (US$180) and that allowed them to buy additional food items, such as: oil, flour, and supplies.
The interest rate was not too much. They make a 328 peso payment (US$27) every 14 days. The loan duration is a total of four month. She learned about EnComun (a charitable micro-finance organization supported by ProMex Group) from a friend.
Maria Rosa Garcia sells new and used clothing. in Nogales, Mexico She buys clothing in US and resells in Mexico. She tries to buy seasonal items that will sell well and quickly. Her goal is to turn her inventory monthly.
She has been in this business for four years. She borrowed 2,500 pesos (about US$200) initially and now up borrows to 5,000 pesos (US$415) which is her own self imposed limit. She is approved by EnComun (a charitable micro-finance organization supported by ProMex Group) for 10,000 pesos (US$830). She has been very pleased with the loan process and interest rates.
Señora Duran is an Avon representative and sells other health and beauty products. She has been in business for seven year.
She buys and resells products with approximately a 40% commission. She generally sells for cash but has a few clients on credit.
She borrowed 3,500 pesos (about US$290) in July, 2011 to expand her business.
Señor & Señora Melendez have two businesses in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. For one, they sell fresh and artificial flower arrangements. The other is professional photography for weddings, quinceañeras, and special events.
They borrowed 10,000 pesos (about US$833), from a charitable micro-lending organization supported by ProMex Group, five months ago to start the flower arrangement business. This gives them more stability with the two businesses.
Señora Castro borrowed 2,000 pesos (about US$165) a month ago to start a new “fast food” business. Her loan came from a ProMex Group supported charitable micro-finance organization in Sonora, Mexico. She used to rent a microwave oven but with her loan, purchased one. She sells her food close to her home at a little stand. She marks up what she sells about 40%.
The Gonzales family, who live in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, buy food, candy, nuts, snacks wholesale and repackage them for retail resale in their neighborhood. They also deliver water to homes and businesses.
They borrowed 2,000 pesos (about US$165) from EnComun (a charitable micro-finance organization supported by ProMex Group) 1 year ago which as allowed their business to expand. They feel that the loan has been very helpful in improving the quality of their lives.
We are excited to get ProMex Group started and grow reponsible micro-finance on the Mexican border. ProMex Group will expand the opportunities for the people of the Mexican border.
We hope our work provides opportunities in Mexico and prevents deaths in the desert from desperate people trying to illegally cross the border.