GILDO PÉREZ SANTIS
In Pechiquil, a small Tzotzil community in Los Altos de Chiapas, lives Hermenegildo Pérez Santis, "Gildo", a 26-year-old guy with two children to raise. In his community there are no paved roads, no houses with doors and windows to protect against the bad weather. Even fewer have the services or amenities that any urban inhabitant considers essential. Gildo, like most of his neighbors, depends on cultivating the land to cope with the harsh reality of barely surviving.
Some time ago, Gildo and the other inhabitants of Pechiquil suffered a scam at the hands of a group that promised to help them build a greenhouse and disappeared with the savings of the group. Of course, when they were asked to form a Savings and Loan Community Group, there was mistrust and suspicion.
In the first year of operation of the Group, things changed. They soon saw tangible benefits in discovering the advantages of managing organized savings. "I have been able to take care of my family and my community, especially when there is an emergency or someone gets sick," says Gildo.
The days of childhood in which he liked to fight have been left behind. Now Gildo is head of his family and a community leader, responsible for inviting more people to join the Savings and Loan Community Group, in addition to being a community health promoter. There is still a long way to go, but Gildo encourages his friends and neighbors to progress every day .