Micro-Credit experience in Western Guatemalan Highlands. What it tells us. David Stoll is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Middlebury College (Sep 22, 2008 at Middlebury College, Rohatyn Center for International Affairs) Recently the Ixil Mayas of Guatemala have experienced two new strategies for climbing out of poverty. The first, conceived by aid consultants, is to lend them money so that they can become entrepreneurs. The second, conceived by the Ixils, is to borrow $5,000 each to smuggle themselves into the United States. For Ixils intent on working in the U.S., microcredits and other lending institutions have been an obvious place to borrow the money. For other Ixils who have borrowed money from institutions, the highest possible rate of return is to turn around and loan the money to Ixil migrants at 10% per month. Since Ixils in the U.S. have few defenses against unscrupulous employers, many are unable to make enough money to pay the debts and Nebaj lending institutions face many defaults. David Stoll is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Middlebury College. He has been studying religion and politics in Latin America since the 1970s. He is the author of Fishers of Men or Founders of Empire? The Wycliffe Bible Translators in Latin America, Is Latin America Turning Protestant and Rigoberta Mencha and the Story of All Poor Guatemalans.
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