Last updated May 28, 2013

Partner Description:

Ecoblock International (“Ecoblock”) is a social housing company dedicated to providing marginalized communities in Mexico with opportunities to significantly improve their housing conditions. Founded in 1997, it started a program called Échale a Tu Casa (“Echale”) that develops affordable housing solutions for underserved communities through innovations in construction, technology and finance.

Focusing its efforts on urban and rural areas where families have little or no access to microcredit, the program has supported 30,000 families to construct new homes, and has delivered home improvement assistance to an additional 150,000 families.

In 2004, nearly half of all new housing and two-thirds of existing housing in Mexico consisted of self-built homes. Because of the low quality materials used and the lack of technical expertise, self-building only magnified Mexico’s inadequate housing problem. By offering training to community members, Échale empowers them to build better homes, and also to work with key government stakeholders and other authorities.

Échale is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative and earned the highest score amongst B Corp honorees for Best for the World 2013. Additionally, it is a GIIRS pioneer, a B-Lab Corporation, a Schwab Foundation entrepreneur and an Ashoka Fellow. Échale’s target clients are families who do not have access to housing, medical or any government assistance and earn 1 to 4 times the minimum wage salary ($150 to $597 per month).

Kiva lenders’ funds will help the organization provide more housing and home improvement services to families who otherwise have little or no access to microloans.

A unique lending approach:

Echale offers technical assistance to self-organized communities so they can manage and implement their own home building or home improvement projects. Families can participate in all stages of construction: creating a local housing committee, managing the project, producing ecological blocks and constructing houses. In instances where families are willing to use their own manual labour, Échale pays them for their work.  

Borrowers must participate in financial workshops before the program starts. The workshops are organized to help clients prepare for the housing program and also to help Echale collect information about current household conditions. After the workshops, technicians visit houses to assist with home improvement planning and, if needed, prepare new housing plans.

At the core of the Échale program is patent protected technology called Adoblock. An Adoblock is a construction block comprised mostly of earth, resulting in a product similar in strength, yet cheaper than the traditional cement block, making it environmentally and economically sustainable. Échale normally operates using a combination of savings, credit and government subsidies.

For the proposed Kiva pilot, government subsidies will not be used. If the project is successful, the partnership with Kiva could open the path to providing affordable housing without requiring government subsidies, expanding the number of eligible clients.

Echale joined Kiva through our Experimental Partnership Program, and has therefore received a lighter level of due diligence. Accordingly, loans associated with this partner carry a higher level of risk than typical Kiva loans.

 

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Aug 12, 2013 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $33,900 $575,063,750
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $304,725
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 278
Amount of Paying Back Loans $19,775 $119,196,175
Number of Paying Back Loans 30 125,162
Amount of Ended Loans $14,125 $455,562,850
Number of Ended Loans 28 580,593
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 3.45%
Amount in Arrears $0 $2,701,152
Outstanding Portfolio $12,476 $78,368,672
Number of loanDelinquent 0 11,379
Default Rate 0.00% 1.08%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $0 $4,937,756
Amount of Ended Loans $14,125 $455,562,850
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 0 15,266
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.07%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $406,266
Refund Rate 0.00% 0.78%
Amount of Refunded Loans $0 $4,479,350
Number of Refunded Loans 0 5,008

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 68.97% 74.23%
Average Loan Size $584 $419
Average Individual Loan Size $584 $657
Average Group Loan Size $0 $1,824
Average number of borrowers per group 0 8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $11,249 $3,440
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 5.20% 12.17%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 3.59 days 5.51 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $162.77 $75.90
  Average Loan Term 6.76 months 10.24 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 15 286,267
  Journaling Rate 36.59% 42.42%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.08
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 1.94

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2012 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Portfolio Yield N/A 74.00% 33.54%
  Profitability (return on assets) N/A 1% -1.15%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 4.00% 41.59%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Raffaella Piazzesi
Sofia Rodriguez