FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 8, 2011
WHEATON, Maryland – On April 1st, the Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) sold 90 percent of the assets of its subsidiary and social enterprise, Community First Financial Center LLC, to a well-respected, community-based organization in El Salvador called ADEL de Morazán Crédito (AMC) that is licensed in the United States as Internacional AMC Corp.
ADEL Morazán has 18 branches throughout the eastern region of El Salvador and provides community-based economic development services very similar to those provided by LEDC in the Washington region. AMC will pick up where Community First left off, continuing to provide the unbanked and under-banked Latino community in the Washington region with responsible, reliable, and transparent financial services that they need to support themselves and their families in the United States. The vast majority of Salvadorans in the Washington region hail from the eastern region of El Salvador, which includes Morazán, San Miguel, and La Union.
Located next door to LEDC’s Wheaton office, AMC and its customers will be able to access LEDC’s comprehensive economic development services to help them achieve their long-term financial goals. LEDC’s mission is to drive the economic and social advancement of low- to moderate-income Latinos and other underserved residents in the Washington metropolitan area by providing the educational and financial resources they need to achieve financial independence and become community leaders.
AMC’s services will include remittances, check cashing, bill pay, money orders and phone cards and a new micro-loan product specifically created for émigrés from El Salvador supporting family members back home. Through AMC, Salvadoran-Americans in the region will soon be able to guarantee micro-loans for their families back home wishing to start businesses and purchase their first homes. In the process, they will move toward greater self sufficiency and less dependence on their families living and working in the United States. LEDC’s Regional Lending Director, Cesar Lopez, will represent LEDC on the Board of Directors of Internacional AMC and provide invaluable guidance and expertise on micro-lending in the United States.
LEDC was first introduced to AMC and ADEL by Bruce Adams and Karla Silvestre from the County’s Office of Community Partnerships after they visited Morazan as part of their mission to establish a sister city relationship with the Governor of Morazán, Miguel Angel Ventura in the summer of 2010. The President of ADEL Morazán, Alejandro Benitez and the President of ADEL’s subsidiary AMC, Wilson Salmeron, as well as Governor Ventura subsequently visited Montgomery County for the first time in January 2011 at which point they were introduced to LEDC to explore partnership opportunities.
LEDC’s Executive Director Manny Hidalgo, Director of Finance and Administration Leda Hernandez, and Regional Lending Director Cesar Lopez will join County Executive Ike Leggett’s delegation to El Salvador in July to explore more opportunities for transnational economic development and to formalize Montgomery County’s sister city relationship with the Department of Morazán. Such transnational economic development will be based on leveraging family ties that already exist between Montgomery County and Morazán and transforming them into formal community and institutional ties that fully enrich the populations of both areas.
LEDC is grateful to Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett and his Office of Community Partnerships for introducing them to their new business partners in Morazán and looks forward to many more years of strengthening the people of Montgomery County’s economic relationship with the people of Morazán.