50,000 Ecuadorians return to home country under Plan Kukayo

Posted on July 30, 2015 • Filed under: Economy, Ecuador, Social Issues

telesurtv.net reported the 1999 financial crisis forced over 2 million people to migrate from Ecuador. Initiatives like Plan Kukayo look to restore their confidence in the country. In the Carcelen neighborhood of north Quito, Ana Isabel Gonzalez and her family make clothing and customize embroidery. But back in 1999, the financial crisis forced Ana to leave the country. She set off for Spain and lived there during the decade that followed. On this period, Ana told teleSUR English, “I did not have an account in the banks. But people that I worked for did. When the banking holiday happened they basically robbed people’s money, and they did not have money to pay for my sewing. So I did not have work. Since I could not work, my economic situation got worse. There was nothing for me. So I looked for solutions, and I decided that I had to leave the country to improve my economic situation, because here there was no work, I could not do anything, and I kept falling deeper and deeper into this situation. So I had to leave, leave behind my young children, 2 very young children, and for me it was very difficult to leave my children, leave the country.” Ana says that it is thanks to the Kukayo Plan, which gives loans to migrants seeking to return to the country and begin their own business, that she was reunited her with her family. “With this Plan Kukayo, the president said that these migrants can return with dignity, because he was going to help us. And he has,” said Ana. Ana is one of the more than 2 million Ecuadoreans forced to leave the country following the so-called bank holiday of 1999. The country plunged into chaos, as bank accounts were frozen for five days and losses of about US$8 billion were registered. President Jamil Mahuad was overthrown by a popular uprising and fled the country, which was left in shambles. The economy minister at the time was Guillermo Lasso, who is today a leading figure of the opposition against the government of President Rafael Correa. Upon taking power, President Correa introduced the Kukayo Plan to help give migrants of this period an incentive and extra economic push to come back to the country and start their own businesses. On how the Kukayo Plan gave her an extra push, Ana said, “This has helped me buy the things we needed for the business.


We needed primary material, so that I could begin with something. We had machines, but what was missing was primary materials. Cloth, thread, zippers, needles and other things. And we built this workshop, before it did not have the store it front, it was just what is here in the back. And we began working, thank God it has worked out for us.” Since the bank holiday, others looking to return to Ecuador have benefited from the Kukayo Plan. Adriana Moreno met her husband while living in Greece, and the two had a dream of starting a Greek Restaurant in Ecuador. With the credit, they were able to expand the business. Serving dolmas, baklava and other Greek dishes, they now run one of the most successful restaurants in Quito’s Mariscal district. On how they used the credit Adriana said, “We needed a functioning kitchen, we needed an oven – there are so many Greek foods that you cook in the oven, and you need a strong one. We were working with a tiny oven at this point. So we couldn’t offer these products, and it was all on the grill, these were the appliances we had. But there were some things we did not have, we needed to be able to offer oven-baked potatoes, musaka, foods that needed other forms of cooking. And with this expansion made possible through the Kukayo Plan credit we have been able to do this.” With initiatives like the Kukayo Plan, nearly 50,000 migrants have returned to Ecuador. The Kukayo Plan has worked to restore the confidence of those who want to come back to the country, and through this economic incentive to begin and thrive in their own businesses. Read Article

Share This Story
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • Add to favorites
  • email