A vision of stability
“A cooperative is one of the visions of Unbound to have our own economic sustainability, so we can
still have a business even when we’re not in the program,” said board member and co-operator
Elenita Morales, whose daughter recently graduated from the Unbound program. “Just like me. I’m not in Unbound but I’m still here.”
Another advantage to becoming a legal consumer co-op, a milestone the group achieved last March, is that families can take out product loans. They can borrow up to 500 pesos (roughly $9.80 USD) worth of supplies at 0% interest, and they have a short amount of time to pay it back.
“When we don’t have enough money we can borrow from the store, and then the store attendant will list our names and we’ll pay it back as soon as possible,” Elenita said.
Elenita’s mothers group meets weekly and members take turns managing the store. They also host a general assembly every year and distribute profits equally among all 240 co-op members. Elenita says she and her fellow co-operators are just getting started.
“Our dream is to have more investors and become a department store,” she said. “With the help of Unbound and the staff maybe someday, somehow.”