If you need an outstanding example of what it means to be a credit union, look no further than Chacon, N.M. This little rural town, where livestock outnumber people, is not easy to locate. My recent travels there were not guided by GPS, but by advice to “take the right fork off the highway, go seven miles back toward the mountain and look for the green and white building.”

Visitors to the Tilford Memorial Mission School, long retired from educational service, on a particular Sunday in March will meet the members of the Rincones Presbyterian Credit Union who are holding their annual meeting. These strong and proud folk, some of whom drove 50 miles to attend, know the power of neighbor helping neighbor. They know who is ailing, who needs help and completely understand the concept of pooling their savings to benefit each other through credit union loans. While the credit union may be small (numbering just 756 members), they are a shining example of what it means to be a financial cooperative.

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