Chile: Update on Fondo Esperanza and its borrowers

We have received the following update from Consuelo Herreros, Social Responsibility Manager at Kiva Field Partner Fondo Esperanza, following the 8.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Chile on February 27th:

“Of our 25 national offices, 60% (15 offices) are operating under completely normal conditions. Of the rest, 5 offices are operating in a state of emergency, since they lack electricity and basic services, and the remaining 5 offices (20%) are not operating because they are located in the area of the catastrophe (Regions VII and VIII).

In regards to the Fondo Esperanza borrowers who have been affected by the earthquake, half of our total loan portfolio (20,000 borrowers) is located in the area of the catastrophe. We have suspended communal bank meetings due to the difficulty of traveling to meeting places. In the coming days, our regional offices – with the support of our main office – will be communicating with all of the affected communal banks (500 in all) to evaluate their situations. We are particularly concerned about communal banks located in the communities of Concepción, Lota, Coronel, Talcahuano, Tome, San Pedro, Talca, Linares, Curicó, Sagrada Familia and in rural areas of Region VI.

We are confident that Fondo Esperanza will emerge in good shape following this event, thanks to the strength and hard work of our staff, borrowers and supporters.”

Our thoughts are with Fondo Esperanza staff and borrowers during this difficult moment. We will continue to post updates on the situation as they become available.

About the author

Cynthia McMurry

  Cynthia is responsible for managing Kiva's team of Portfolio Managers and Field Support Specialists in Latin America and the Caribbean, and for overseeing the regional implementation of Kiva's strategy from both a risk and social performance perspective. Cynthia has worn many hats at Kiva: she started in 2008 as a Spanish translator and Kiva Fellow, completing fellowship placements with four MFI field partners in Peru, Bolivia and Ecuador. She returned to Peru for another year and a half to serve as Kiva's first Field Support Specialist for South America, then moved to San Francisco to work as the Portfolio Manager for North and Central America before assuming her current position in 2012.    Originally from Minneapolis, Cynthia has a B.A. in International Relations and Spanish from Tufts University. She is fluent in Spanish, conversational in Portuguese and can say "See you tomorrow!" in Quechua.