What’s the idea?Microfinance has proven to be a powerful engine of change in the fight against global poverty. The idea is that with a small loan (typically $200 to $400) for use as startup capital, individuals who have no collateral and are considered “not credit-worthy” by traditional financial institutions will be able to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. Groups work together to guarantee one another’s loans and ensure repayment, making this a stable and sustainable business model. Once repaid, loan dollars are recycled to others, creating significant impact with relatively small amounts of money. Practically speaking, a microloan may be used to purchase a sewing machine or a market stall, to buy seeds or expand a family farm beyond subsistence level, or to launch a local handicraft cooperative. In broader terms, a microloan is used to create a viable future: an existence that looks beyond the day-to-day struggle for survival and gives recipients and their families a chance to break the poverty cycle. What does Pro Mujer do?Pro Mujer has been involved in microfinance in Latin America since 1990, and has so far improved the lives of nearly 2 million women and over 6 million children and family members. The company provides women with vital services for breaking out of poverty, including financial counseling, business loans, business and empowerment training, and health care. Pro Mujer believes that investing in women provides far-reaching returns. Women tend to reinvest large portions of their income into their families and, in turn, their communities, through increasing investment in education and healthcare. How does Vaya help?In 2013, through the generosity of our travelers and through our own contributions, we donated over $8,000 to this organization. We believe in giving back to the communities that have given so much to us and our travelers, and we’re proud to contribute to Pro Mujer’s efforts to improve lives, one family at a time.