MORELIA, Mexico -- Seven credit union professionals participated in this year's World Council of Credit Unions' Hispanic Marketing Immersion Program Sept. 20 through Oct. 3 in Morelia, Mexico. Participants completed a practical internship on-site with a credit union, or caja, interacting with staff, management and members, learning daily Mexican credit union operations and studying marketing strategies used to attract new members and promote financial products.
Because the program is an immersion program, participants spent each morning in intensive Spanish classes and lived with host families to learn about Mexican family life.
"What we aim to do is give the participants a tool, a total immersion experience, in what daily life in Mexico looks like," said Victor Miguel Corro, WOCCU international partnerships manager. "That's why it's important to be with a middle-class Mexican family and see how life evolves every day--that you can't get in an empty hotel room."
In fact, Corro said, a vast majority of Mexicans have a family member or close acquaintance who moved to the U.S., so the program truly gives American credit union professionals a glimpse into their own Hispanic market back home.
"What we have found really works is word of mouth," Corro said. "If something is good enough for me, it will be good enough for rest of family, and we can't emphasize that enough. In this culture, it's not about individual choices; but rather, a collective choice when it comes to most anything in life. It's very different from U.S. culture."