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On October 13, Investours visited several local entrepreneurs in Bucerias and chose Catalina, a life-long dressmaker, to be the recipient of an interest free loan. Catalina will use this loan to invest in a new sewing machine and materials to help her grow her business.

During the tour, Catalina told a group of travelers about how she taught herself to sew on a machine when she was just 16. After making her own wedding dress for her wedding nearly 25 years ago, her friends persuaded her to make dressmaking a career. Since then, she has crafted hundreds of beautiful wedding dresses, school uniforms, marching band uniforms and other creations for her friends and neighbors in Bucerias.

This tour marks the start of a successful winter tourism season for Investours, a non-profit that partners with Se Mas Microfinanzas to offer socially responsible, microfinance tours in the Bay of Banderas region. During a tour, Investours takes travelers into surrounding communities to meet local entrepreneurs – people who are seeking loans to start up small business projects like fishing, dressmaking, food stands, make up sales and piñata making. The tour participants engage with the entrepreneurs about their businesses, their lives and why they need a loan. At the end of the tour, the group decides on one of the entrepreneurs to receive an interest free loan funded by the group’s tour fees. This loan, along with ongoing financial education provided by Se Mas Microfinanzas, helps to improve the lives of local business owners and their families.

Investours plans to run tours every Thursday and Friday this season. Thursday tours will depart from the American School of Puerto Vallarta, and Friday tours will depart from Punta de Mita, Nayarit. The cost is $50 USD per adult and $35 USD per child. For more information about Investours, or to sign up for a tour, visit www.investours.org or contact local Program Director, Ryan Pukos at puertovallarta@investours.org.

Source: Investours • Photo credit: Paul Desmond Media