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Caja Rural Señor de Luren is a microfinance institution based in Ica in southern Peru that primarily promotes the development of the country’s agricultural sector through micro-lending. Founded in 1994, the organization diversified to offer microenterprise, consumer and home loans in 2003. By September 2011, it grew to serve over 55,000 borrowers through 41 offices with a loan portfolio of approximately US$184 million.
Today, Caja Luren provides three major financial products to its clients:
In 2007, an earthquake devastated the Ica area and weakened the local economy. Caja Luren played an instrumental role in helping residents rebuild their lives, homes and businesses. Immediately following the earthquake, the institution offered 6 month grace periods to a large portion of its affected portfolio in order to aid recovery.
To reduce its operating expenses, Caja Luren partnered with Peru’s National Bank to share its offices and certain resources. This helped expand micro-credit access to some of the poorest and most remote regions of Peru. Today, this partnership has grown to the point where more than half of Caja Luren’s offices work with the National Bank in some capacity.
Caja Luren is a regulated financial institution and reports on a monthly basis to the Peruvian Superintendent of Banks. It adheres to official standards of financial reporting and is audited annually. It has also developed risk managament and internal audit departments to make sure that credit is going to deserving borrowers and being used effectively.
The institution uses Kiva lenders’ funding to expand its operations to support new clients. Many of these people are still recovering from the earthquake nearly six years later. The focus is to provide capital that encourages business growth and housing repair in rural areas around Ica.