Isabel Cruz Hernandez

Isabel Cruz Hernandez

CEO of the Mexican Association of Social Sector Credit Unions (AMUCSS).

Mexican anthropologist, social finance activist and builder of community financial systems. For four decades she has worked in diverse regions of her country with peasant and indigenous organizations to promote grassroots financial inclusion. She is the CEO of the Mexican Association of Social Sector Credit Unions (AMUCSS).

Isabel studied Anthropology at the National School of Anthropology and History, Financial Administration at Tecnológico de Monterrey and Business Management at the Technology Institute of Mexico (ITAM). She has made multiple international trips in Latin America, Europe, North America and Africa, to discover the most important popular financial experiences around the world and implement their solutions in Mexico.

Throughout her career, Isabel has supported the construction of multiple local financial institutions and services for marginalized communities. She designed and implemented micro-savings methodologies for remote communities, including the creation of models for agricultural and non-agricultural productive credits, and financial methodologies for social housing development combining savings, credit, subsidies and assistance technique. She has also developed social strategies for strengthening binational communities and fostering the social impact of remittances.

Because of her work for financial inclusion, Isabel has received various international awards in the last 20 years. She is currently dedicated to producing strategic community banks (SOFINCOs) in rural and indigenous areas of Oaxaca, Chiapas, Puebla, Hidalgo, among others regions, and to the development of the Peoples Clearinghouse, an innovative financial network for connecting social financial institutions between them and with international networks.

She writes at "El Financiero" newspaper and has published several public policy books.