|Mohamed Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize 2006|
“When the Grameen Bank began its operations in Guatemala, they came to Universidad Francisco Marroquín to know the country and to attain local knowledge on the social situation. In September 2005, when we had the visit from professor H.I. Latifee, members of the SIFE-UFM team realized a presentation on Guatemala, specially on poverty facts. We made a poverty map due to the Grameen Bank program that focus on micro credits to the poorest among the poor. Later Oscar Chiquitó (UFM alumni) lead a team from the Grameen Bank on a tour through the countryside, specifically to the department of Sololá”, said Edwin Xol, member of the UFM Students In Free Enterprise team, while commenting on the Nobel Price Award given to Mohamed Yunus and his Grameen Bank.
“Yunus showed to be a leader capable of making visions into practical actions in benefit of millions of persons”, the Nobel Committee said.
Luis Pedro del Valle, attorney of Grameen in Guatemala and UFM alumni, explained that last year Wholeplanet Foundation and Grameen Trust united their efforts to develop a micro credit program in Guatemala, using the Grameen Bank methodology founded by Nobel Peace Prize 2006, Mohamed Yunus. This methodology is separated from the common schemes used for credit background, the main characteristics of the Grameen methodology are:
1. The credits are given without any formalities, that is, there is no document signed that could be used in a court and there is no need for things as collateral.
2. They are given mainly to women who use it to buy something that will give them income; for example, to buy a cell phone that can be rented to the community members.
3. The credit beneficiaries are grouped and they get their loans in a successive way, depending on each others accountability. There is a social or group pressure to comply since ones failure affects everyone else.
4. A market interest fee is charged.
To implement this micro credit program, a civil, non lucrative Association was formed, whose founding members are UFM alumni and students, and close friends to this house of studies.