The first rural savings and loan cooperatives (Cooperativas Rurales de Ahorro y Crédito, or CRAC) in the southern region of the department of Santander, located in the northeast mountain range of the Colombian Andes, emerged in the 1950s and ’60s. As in other regions of Latin America, these first cooperatives were promoted by the Catholic Church, which developed a strong policy of inspiring solidarity and a culture of savings among the peasantry. Their work was boosted by agricultural trade unions that simultaneously drove the formation of agro-industrial cooperatives dedicated to production (e.g., dairy cooperatives) or commercialization (e.g., coffee and sugarcane)....

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López Cerón, S.C. (2017). Rural savings and loan cooperatives: Five cases in the south of santander. In Marcela Vásquez-Léon, Brian J. Burke and Timothy J. Finan (eds.) Cooperatives, Grassroots Development, and Social Change: Experiences from Rural Latin America. University of Arizona Press (pp. 187–202). Retrieved from