Rosario Pérez is a guest blogger and President and Chief Executive Officer of Pro Mujer.
Imagine living in the world’s third-largest city with a population of more than 20 million people. Now imagine living in one of its 16 boroughs where 130,000 of its inhabitants are served by only 12 health centers, 30% have completed primary school and the main economic activity is the production and sale of fruit and sauces.
This city — Mexico City — is the economic, industrial and cultural center of the country, yet within its limits lies the impoverished borough of Milpa Alta. More than 50% of its residents are women. Traditional financial services are out of their reach because they work in the informal sector. With 11,000 other people per health center to contend with, accessing it means precious time away from their businesses and lost income. They are also raising children so learning new skills is out of the question.
Despite these challenges, these women have a burning desire for a better life for themselves and their families. As a native Mexican and President and CEO of Pro Mujer, a Latin American women’s development organization, I am particularly proud to share how we are helping the women of Milpa Alta to break the cycle of poverty.
Today, we are opening our newest center there, thanks to the generous support of MasterCard. This marks our 44th center in Mexico and our 177th in Latin America. In our first year alone, we expect to provide 400 strong and hardworking women with easy and convenient access to financial services such as small loans, savings and insurance; business and empowerment training and preventive health education.
These services will be delivered in a “one-stop shopping” manner in a safe and supportive environment. At Pro Mujer, we believe every woman has the potential to transform their lives and improve the lives of their families and communities..do you?