A loan of $10,000 helped to pay for agriculture supplies and technical assistance for a plantain project.


Arimae Community's story

The village of Arimae is applying for its second loan to expand plantain production in their community. Plantains are a staple food crop in Panama, and also one of the main income-producing activities for Indigenous communities. Arimae is an 800-person Emberá and Wounaan indigenous community in Panama’s Darien province. They will use the $10,000 loan to buy plantain seed stock to incubate in the nursery, as seen in the photo. The loan will also cover costs for planting, maintaining, and harvesting the plantains. With the proceeds from the harvests the village will finance community development projects and support legal efforts to secure their reservation.

Otilio is currently one of the caciques, or chiefs, for the community, and is a part of one of the founding members of the community of Arimae, which was formally founded in the 1970's to help defend the community's land from illegal loggers and cattle ranchers.

The residents of Arimae are ancestors of the Chocó people who migrated from the Chocó region of Colombia during the 16th century, and subsisted for generations as hunter-gatherers and fishermen. Today, the community members depend mostly on subsistence agriculture and day labor to put food on the table. Arimae is part of a network of indigenous reservations that once stretched for hundreds of thousands of hectares in the Darien. Over the past 30 years however, their land holdings have declined sharply as illegal logger and cattle ranchers encroach into their reservation in search of timber and pastureland.



Loan details


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Loan details