Residents of the Capital City Belmopan and its rural communities can now boast of having a sound and well-established financial institution in the midst of the city. Aiming at providing both financial and technical assistance, the La Inmaculada Credit Union’s goal is to empower the private sector. That initiative has been facilitated by the grand opening of its first branch in Belmopan City. Irvin Aragon was in Belmopan this morning along with cameraman Jesus Melgar, and has the story.

Screen_shot_2013-10-01_at_7.48.20_PMIrvin Aragon - Reporting

The road to financial and social stability has become a lot easier for the residents of the capital city Belmopan and its surrounding villages as the La Inmaculada Credit Union officially opened its doors during a ceremony this morning in the garden city. The first branch of the renowned credit union is conveniently located in the centre of the city and has the board of directors, the administration, and the staff optimistic of this great accomplishment.

Amory Jacobs, President, Board of Directors

“We have been blessed with many achievements, when the joint effort of our members and continuous patronage, our generous director and other volunteers willingly, our supporting staff that embraces all initiative and gives nothing but their best, but today it is especially gratifying and it represents a crowning moment in our history as we take our services and reach out to meet the needs of the underserved and the unbanked in Belmopan City and it newer intelligence, we know that by our micro finance services and outreach efforts met our communities we will engage, educate and empower many by making it more affordable and assessable to enter into formal finance sector.”

Yolanda L. Gomez, General Manager, LICU

“It really warms our hearts to see you all here today in celebrating indeed a major milestone of our journey of being of assistance for others, our philosophy remains emblemised in serving the less fortunate, the under privilege and those who are willing to put in the effort and the time needed to succeed in life , La Inmaculada Credit Union Limited has grown tremendously during the last twenty two years that has reinforced the total of sixty four years that we have in existences not only in resources, membership and staff as being shared before but also in benefits, services and loan products this has come as a result in being in true and responsive in the needs of our memberships and the community at large, we focus not only in expanding our membership but also in ensuring that our current membership needs are being met and the demands of the public also are being met.  We at the La Inmaculada Credit Union formally believe that growth and prosperity comes with being well informed, prepared and in an enable environment it is with this in mind that we provide numerous training programs and opportunities or soft development to ensure that all members receive the same high level and quality of service that they deserve at all times.”

Such initiative could not have been possible if it was not because of the Inter-American Development Bank through its Multilateral Investment Fund. Representative for the IDB, Ishmael Quiroz says that partnership with La Inmaculada Credit Union definitely means development in our country.

Ishmael Quiroz, Representative, MIF

“The objective of this support is to help this region to achieve greater economic and social progress and to achieve this the IDB main strategic trust are geared toward reducing poverty and social inequalities addressing the need of small and vulnerable countries, promoting regional cooperation and integration, addressing climate change and renewable energy and environmental sustainability and finally posturing the development in the private sector.  The multilateral investment fund which is a private sector arm of the Inter-American Development Bank provides funds for technical capacity building projects for the private sector and we have a very interesting project with La Inmaculada Credit Union that is geared towards social entrepreneurship basically providing financing for on lending, for micro financing as well as training and capacity building in small business management in financial literacy an basically enabling entrepreneurs specially from rural areas to be able to build themselves, to be able to access credit in the first place and to be able to effectively manage their credit, that is our involvement.”

The primary focus of today’s milestone is not only to provide the wide scope of services such as deposits and credit, but, more geared at empowering the private sector, especially the micro, small, and medium enterprises, says Yolanda Gomez.

Yolanda L. Gomez, General Manager, LICU

“The feedback we’ve been getting and the outcome today for the launch for the new branch has been exceptional.  We are convinced that the people from Belmopan City are waiting for an institution like ours, that don’t just accepts deposits and offer credit we do much more than that, we offer training, we offer technical guidance, technical assistance so we are convinced that we will definitely make ad different in Belmopan City and in the lives of many out here.”

Irvin Aragon –Reporter

“And of course a project like this takes a lot of time, a lot of effort, team work, what you are anticipating as the leader of this ship as it was referred to, what are you anticipating?”

Yolanda L. Gomez, General Manager, LICU

“Actually, we were going to assign three staff members to be out here as of tomorrow and I am afraid that will have to increase to five immediately so we would be having a rotation of staff.  We will be offering our side scope of variation of course especially if there is a need and a demand for it, however, our focus is actually on entrepreneurship, people who have some little business need to grow it, need some capital injection, need some training, need some assistance in probably just improving their place, coming up to health standards thing like that those are the kind of initiatives we are more focused on currently.”

But in order for you to feel at home away from home, you must at the very least be welcomed and that is exactly what the deputy mayor of the capital city did. His presence today was in essence to say, welcome to your new home.

Joel Westby, Deputy Mayor, City of Belmopan

“It was 43 years ago that Belmopan came into existence and since then Belmopan has been steadily growing, in fact it has been considered one of the fastest growing municipalities in our country right now so I think you have come in at a very opportune time and it is not only the municipality of Belmopan that you will reaching out as I can see, I see you have found a strategic position to place your offices, you are practically at the entrance, so as Belmopan grows there is the constant need of financial services and what better way than the Credit Union way.  The services of the Credit Union are so much more convenient than if I may say so any other financial institutions.  I would like to welcome you to Belmopan and I know that this is another opportunity I should say that people can save the best way the Credit Union way, so gain welcome to Belmopan and I guess that this will be a long a fruitful partnership between the City of Belmopan and La Inmaculada Credit Union.”

The La Inmaculada Credit Union Ltd. Belmopan Branch was immediately opened for business. Hereafter, the offices of the institution will be opened for business to the residents of the garden city.

It is the institution’s desire that the people of Belmopan and its surrounding communities would take advantage of such opportunities made available to them.

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