ST. PAUL, Minn. (7/30/14)--The Minnesota Credit Union Network (MnCUN) recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its relationship with Paraguayan credit unions.
MnCUN helped recognize the 20th anniversary of Central de Cooperativas del Area Nacional Ltda. (CENCOPAN), which provides its Paraguayan credit unions with services similar to those offered by trade associations and corporate credit unions in the United States. MnCUN President/CEO Mark D. Cummins spoke at CENCOPAN's International Seminar, "Credit Unions: A True Alternative for Economic & Social Development."
During the May 2014 visit, Kristina Wright, MnCUN vice president, association services, left, and President/CEO Mark D. Cummins, rightr, met with the 30 de Agosto Ltda. Cooperativa. This credit union, chaired by Dario Quinonez Martinez, center, was the first in the country to implement safe deposit boxes, an innovation inspired by a visit he made to Minnesota during the partnership exchange. Now several Paraguayan credit unions offer safe deposit boxes to their members.
Cummins provided an overview of the changes in payments systems and the evolution of technology in the United States.
The 10-year relationship has been mutually beneficial, Kristina M. Wright, MnCUN vice president of association services told News Now
. While the Minnesota league has been able to provide the South American nation with technological and regulatory advice related to credit unions, Paraguayan credit unions have helped U.S. credit unions remain true to their roots.
"It's inspiring to experience the passion and commitment that the credit unions in Paraguay have, and it's a great reminder of our cooperative roots and principles," Wright told News Now
With MnCUN's assistance, CENCOPAN has streamlined its internal departments and overall organizational focus, rebranding the association and opening a new office in a visible part of the capital city, Asuncion. CENCOPAN is also currently in the midst of a technological assessment, working with the International Development Bank to audit their offerings and define areas where it can make structural improvements in safety and security.
Going forward, MnCUN and CENCOPAN will shift the focus of its relationship, scaling back time and travel commitment while maintaining an open line of communication.