Microcredit in El Salvador

San Francisco Gotera

Day 2, 8/3/2010

PADECOMSMCrédito, the Institución Microfinanciero where I´m working, is headquartered in San Francisco Gotera, in the northwestern part of El Salvador in a county called Morazán. Gotera does not receive any love from the guidebooks – Lonely Planet calls it “a city to best pass through,” and my Rough Guide says that “compared to many of the other cities in the mountains of Northern El Salvador, there´s not much to do or see.”

The city is the county capital, however, and with a population of 20,000 people it´s bigger than I expected. There´s a pretty big market, a river, and a soccer field, and you can´t see the whole thing in fifteen minutes. There´s also surprisingly four or five big multinational banks like Citi and HSBC; I´m guessing that they are here to get in on some of the $4 billion (yes, billion) sent home every year by Salvadorans living abroad.

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