Happy Holidays and an amazing 2019!

Newsletter – December 2018

We hope you will enjoy our fourth Newsletter, please follow this link to our previous Newsletter in case you missed it.

This last Newsletter of the year summarizes our main achievements in 2018, and gives you a brief outlook into MiCRO’s 2019 plans to continue strengthening the resilience of vulnerable and low income populations in Latin America by reducing the protection gap against natural disasters.


2018 has been a fascinating year for MiCRO. We have expanded and launched our product nationwide in Guatemala, while launching a new product in El Salvador and initiating operations in Colombia.

Apart from that, our team has been showcasing our achievements all over the globe. Please, have a look at some of the highlights of this very busy and interesting year.


  • Together with our local partners and donors, MiCRO organized the second Disaster Risk Reduction Fair (DRRF) in Guatemala

As part of MiCRO’s Value Added Program (VAP) that aims to make consumers more resilient, competitive and improve their livelihood conditions, MiCRO organized the second Disaster Risk Reduction Fair (DRRF) in Chiquimula. We could not have done this without the valuable support of IADB/MIF, Aseguradora Rural (AR), Banrural (BR), and the active participation of CONRED, Habitat for Humanity, Habitat Guatemala, and the World Food Program. . The event took place on Saturday February  17th, 2018 with the widespread involvement of hundreds of participants. To learn more about the fair please check this publication and watch the video

  • “Esfuezo Seguro” was launched nationwide in Guatemala with Banrural and Aseguradora Rural

The microfinance bank Banrural is offering Esfuerzo Seguro as a bundled insurance product, combined with  a credit product. On May 24th 2018, MiCRO’s local partners Aseguradora Rural (an insurance company) and Banrural launched “Esfuerzo Seguro” throughout Guatemala. Since then, “Esfuerzo Seguro” has been in an expansion phase and is being sold in 838 branches covering all the departments in the country. More than 1,600 Banrural staff have been trained and are now prepared to explain all the benefits of the product to the Guatemalan clients.

As of November 30, 8,000 Banrural borrowers had been protected by Esfuerzo Seguro, 51% of them are women and 70% had agricultural activities.


  • “Esfuezo Seguro” is now sold to Friendship Bridge clients

Aseguradora Rural launched “Esfuerzo Seguro” with Friendship Bridge, a non-profit organization based in Lakewood, Colorado that implements microcredit and educational projects to help vulnerable women and their families in Vietnam and Guatemala. The pilot was launched in two regions, Quiche and Sololá, and the first policy was sold in November 7th. As of December 7th, 2018,  91 Friendship Bridge clients  have been protected by “Esfuerzo Seguro”, and the goal is to reach at least 150 policies by the end of 2018. Friendship Bridge is planning to expand the product coverage to 3,000 clients by 2019.

  • MiCRO is working together with Anacafé in the design of a parametric index-based product for coffee growers

As part of a project that aims to improve productivity of the coffee sector in Guatemala and involves the coffee growers association of Guatemala (ANACAFE), the association of cooperatives (MICOOPE), and the cooperative insurer (Seguros Columna), MiCRO is currently designing an index insurance product which better addresses the protection needs of coffee growers.

MiCRO carried out vulnerability workshops along with IRI and Anacafé in coffee cooperatives in Guatemala to identify the different risks coffee growers face during each productive phase, and to determine the relevant risks to be covered by the product.

El Salvador

Some highlights about our pilot of “Produce Seguro” in El Salvador

With MiCRO’s support, the product “Produce Seguro” was officially launched in El Salvador on June 26, 2018. The local insurer is Seguros Futuro (leaded by Daysi Rosales) and the first financial institution commercializing the product is the Banco de Fomento Agropecuario (BFA), under the direction of their President, Lilian Vega. To know more about the launch event, please check this link.

As of November 30, 2018, almost 500 clients had active “Produce Seguro” policies. Moreover, several clients already received a payout due to drought and excess rainfall events from July-September and October. Payments were credited within only two weeks.

The six-month pilot program of 2018 covered almost the whole country (see map below); the product was offered in 14 out of 32 branches. The pilot has generated valuable lessons for product design and distribution while allowing process improvement. The rest of the branches, which will be trained in January 2019, will benefit from these enhancements.

Produce Seguro Pilot and Expansion in El Salvador 2018


MiCRO officially started operations in Colombia in 2018. We have been very busy selecting local partners and conducting field visits with the objective to launch our first product in Colombia during the first half of 2019.

Colombia plays an important role in MiCRO’s expansion phase. As such, Beatriz Vaca recently joined the MiCRO team in Bogotá. Beatriz is a graduate of the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and holds a master’s degree in economics and development issues. Our local presence will soon be further strengthened with the hire of a Head of Growth, and by MiCRO’s CEO relocation from Miami to Bogota in January 2019, additionally highlighting MiCRO’s commitment to Colombia.

MiCRO’s Board will meet in Bogotá in January 2019 to assess plans and progress in Colombia, which will also be an excellent opportunity to first-hand see the formidable opportunities that the country currently offers to MiCRO.

New office at Colombia


MiCRO has completed a preliminary feasibility assessment of entering Africa with the support of Cenfri. The results of the assessment indicate that MiCRO should carefully evaluate opportunities in Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania for launching a natural catastrophe index insurance pilot program. Moving this initiative forward will require additional financial resources beyond those generously provided to date by Mercy Corps.  Stay tuned!


MiCRO contributed with one article for the 2018 edition of the State of Microinsurance publication. This report, and future editions, will focus on providing concrete examples of how inclusive insurance is contributing to the broad development agenda in a structured way that links directly to selected SDGs. MiCRO focused on SDG 17: Partnerships for the Goals 



MiCRO wins Celent’s Model Insurer 2018 Award

The Microinsurance Catastrophe Risk Organization (MiCRO), was rewarded for using technology to grant access to appealing and affordable protection to underserved, vulnerable and low-income segments of the population. MiCRO’s own Jorge Barrientos, (Business Manager to Guatemala) accepted the award on behalf of Carlos Boelsterli, the CEO of MiCRO,and the entire MiCRO team. Congratulations to everyone at MiCRO and to all our stakeholders!

Chick here for more information.

Do you want to support MiCRO in its international efforts to reduce the protection gap? Please contact us to find out how:  
Carlos Boelsterli – CEO cboelsterli@microrisk.org
Andrea Camargo – CSO acamargo@microrisk.org 

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