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About Us

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AGUDESA is a leading microfinance institution in Guatemala established as a subsidiary of VisionFund International, a global microfinance institution operating in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East/Eastern Europe. VisionFund International is a wholly owned subsidiary of World Vision International, a Christian relief development and advocacy organization. Working together, we provide the foundations for local economies to flourish in healthy and safe communities.

 

We provide financial services to people who would otherwise have little or no access to credit. The well-being of children, families and communities in Guatemala is our main focus. We serve the country’s poorest people by helping them start or grow their own businesses through loans of just a few hundred dollars.

History

World Vision originally began its microfinance and savings programme in 1993, but quickly realised the global need for microfinance and the immense role it played in reducing poverty. VisionFund International was then founded in 2003 to manage its network of affiliated microfinance organisations (MFIs).  

 

Since then, VisionFund International has been lending money to people in need of financial services, helping them to start or grow sustainable businesses. Our clients use the income earned to build a better future for their children, for example, through having clean water, nutritious food, education and healthcare.

 

We currently operate over 30 MFIs in four regions of the globe.   Collectively, we have disbursed over 1.4 million loans, impacting the lives of 3.5 million children. 

Working in Guatemala

In Latin America, Guatemala ranks the second highest country for extreme child poverty at 47%. This equates to three million children. Guatemala also ranks as the highest of Latin America countries for chronic malnutrition at nearly 55%.

 

In Guatemala children suffer great hardship. Many are pulled out of school by their parents at an early age to beg for money or work. Most families can't afford for their children not to work because 57% of the population have an income of less than $2 per day, and nearly 27% of the population are considered to live in 'extreme poverty' with less than $1 per day.

 

For many years civil war inhibited trade and foreign investment, but with the 1996 peace accords, the gateway to foreign investment and trade were opened. This has created many opportunities for the people of Guatemala. But without training and loans, these dreams become unrealised. We are working to provide opportunities for children and families to thrive.

Management

Our CEO, Carlos Pineda, joined us in April 2012 with over 30 years of experience in banking and finance. He was previously the Regional Director of Microfinance in the fourth largest bank in Guatemala and has extensive experience in this area. Carlos studied business management and agricultural studies while at university.

 

Our microfinance institution has a board of directors and management team that oversees the work of the MFI.

Awards and Ratings

We are a four-diamond microfinance provider by MIX Market. 

We are also actively involved with the funder CITI Foundation and giving out CITI Awards to business owners throughout their network. These individuals are recognised for their innovative and productive initiatives that positively impact their communities.