Colombian Microcredits
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Colombian Microcredits
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On forgotten mountains in the outskirts of Bogota, Colombia, people live in small shacks that they often build in days. Most of them unwittingly build on small plots of stolen land. Non-profit organization Un Techo Para Mi Pais (A Roof for My Country) offers microcredits to those with promising business ideas.

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Produced by Deborah Acosta and Jesse Swanson.

Find out more about Un Techo Para Mi Pais.

Originally featured in the ViewChange Online Film Contest.


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Segment 1

Microcredits in Soacha, Colombia
DONA MARIA OLIVA [Microcredit Applicant]
This machine won't sew. I love my work. And I love to cook as well. I'm a seamstress. My job is making clothes. I make underwear, pajamas, sweatpants, shirts.
DON ISRAEL [Husband]
"If you can't find a way to pay, then get out." So then and there, you have to leave. How can you become the owner of what's not yours? And that's what happened to us. We ran out of money, and we had to come up here. Thank goodness I had this little lot. Of course we're lacking resources. We're lacking them, but, oh well, we're getting by.
JAVIER CAMILO VANEGAS [Volunteer, Un Techo Para Mi Pais]
I think that the main problem is that the government doesn't recognize this community. This prevents development in the community. We want to offer an opportunity to those people who have historically been excluded from participating in the country's financial system by offering them a small credit that enables them to start or fortify small business ideas.
For me, it was great news to hear that I'd get microcredits to start a garment-selling business. Open up a little table and sell clothes at low cost so that people can buy. So that's the kind of work I want to do. To be able to forge ahead. More than anything else, I want to find some work, some help, for our home, for my husband and I, so that we don't become a burden for our children, or a burden for anyone else either.