Maimón is the name of four cities in the Dominican Republic. The most famous one is Maimón Bay because of its fresh fish. It is located in Puerto Plata province at the Atlantic Coast. Maimón city in the Monseñor Nouel province is about 45 minutes by car from Santo Domingo. The city flourished thanks to gold, silver and nickel mining in the surrounding areas.
This small city is also the hometown of COOPMAIMÓN, an Oikocredit cooperative partner since 2010. Founded in 1991 with only 26 members, among them 2 women, it has grown to have more than 70,000 members as of March 2014. The cooperative provides financial services (credit and savings), training and social programmes to its members.
COOPMAIMÓN is a binding element of the community. Today, 8 in every 10 inhabitants of Maimón city are members of the cooperative and benefit from its financial and social services. Many have a savings accounts for their children to help them understand the importance of saving for the future.
I learnt that in the Dominican Republic, cooperatives are obligated to reserve 5% of profits for providing capacity building to members, however COOPMAIMÓN goes the extra mile, reserving funds for social programmes such as scholarships for student members and children of members as well as donating signs to name streets, water pumps (50 per year) and sponsoring local sport teams.
After the presentation, finance and administration manager, Irma Grullón, gave us a tour around the headquarters and showed us the many cups won by sporting teams sponsored by COOPMAIMÓN.
COOPMAIMÓN supports new and small cooperatives through financing and sharing experiences to strengthen and serve members the best way possible.
That’s the cooperative spirit!