U of M Extension, Mexican consul sign agreement for financial literacy education
Funds help empower Minnesota's Mexican families on the path to financial stability.
University of Minnesota Extension’s Latino Financial Literacy team helps those who are new to Minnesota understand financial information and systems that many take for granted. A new agreement between the Consulate of Mexico in Saint Paul and University of Minnesota Extension includes $5,000 to be used for a new program titled Protección al Patrimonio y Ventanillas de Asesoría Financiera (Financial Education and Family Asset Protection Reference Desk). The agreement, the first between the Consulate and the University of Minnesota, was signed on July 21.
The Mexican government grants funds to the consular network in the United States to protect and empower Mexican nationals living abroad. “We have long collaborated with Extension in Greater Minnesota,” says Gerardo Guerrero Gomez, consul, Consulate of Mexico in St. Paul. “It is of immense interest to us to work with the Extension’s Center for Family Development now that we are in a position to financially contribute towards our shared goals of financial empowerment.”
The Extension Latino Financial Literacy Program was selected because of Extension’s expertise and reputation as a trusted source throughout the state. Experienced bilingual educators offer classes or one-on-one sessions depending on the needs of the individual or family.
“When Latino Americans have good financial health, it benefits their entire communities,” says Bev Durgan, dean of Extension. “Our faculty and educators understand their situations, provide answers and help participants make sound decisions.”
Those new to Minnesota and the U.S. are often unsure about how to navigate systems such as banking, insurance agencies and renting a place to live. “They share their dreams with us—their hopes to support their children, work and get out of debt, sometimes even to start a business,” says Antonio Alba Meraz, Extension educator in family resiliency and project lead for this work. “We share with them the tools that give them hope for it all to be possible.”
The proposal that was approved entails a series of 17 2-hour financial capability workshops, presented in Spanish, at 16 identified Greater Minnesota communities. They will all take place before December 15, 2017.
For more information, visit Extension’s Latino Financial Literacy website.