Winter is the dry season in Bolivia. In spite of this, it has been raining constantly. The Andean area has seen rain and thunder in La Paz, and snow in El Alto.
The local people welcome the first snowfall. They believe that once the snow arrives, the rain will stop and farmers can prepare the ground for planting seeds. Others think it brings good luck. I choose to believe this too, because the rain that met us on arrival at the CRECER office in La Paz had given way to blue sky by the time we had reached El Alto.
Crecer, Crédito con Educación, (Credit with education) is a microfinance institution that provides loans and training to more than 155,000 clients in Bolivia’s rural and peri-urban areas through individual loans and village banks. Its origins can be traced back to 1990 when Freedom from Hunger (which started operating in Bolivia in 1985 with a food programme in the Batallas region) launched a Credit with education programme with 40 bancos comunales (village banks) assisting 700 members.