Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back on the road: to Lake Titicaca branch to Crecer

The road from La Paz to Tiquina, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, takes about two hours depending on the traffic. In a way, it shows the contrasts that you also find in the area itself. Getting out of La Paz and passing through El Alto one can see how the Western lifestyle gives room to an Aymaran world. Their world has been able to keep some traditions in spite of the long colonial period, as well as adapt others to shape itself to what it has currently become: an Aymara culture living in a bi-cultural world.
Located at 3,812 m (12,500 ft) above sea level on the border of Peru and Bolivia, the Lake Titicaca –known as Mamacota (Mother Lake) in native Aymara – has had a special role in the Aymara cosmology since ancient times. It is no surprise, then, that CRECER, our MFI project partner, started its operations in this area through village banks. Village banks usually are composed by groups of 12 to 15 clients that meet on a regular basis. 95% of CRECER clients are women, and 60% of them live in rural areas.

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