With the Juntos Avanzamos network growing rapidly – now up to 79 credit unions in 20 states, along with Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia – the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions on Thursday launched juntosavanzamos.org, a new website to help Hispanic consumers locate Juntos Avanzamos-designated credit unions in the United States.

According to the Federation, Juntos Avanzamos credit unions are “committed to serving and empowering Spanish-speaking consumers” by providing relevant, safe and affordable financial products and services, employing bilingual, culturally aligned staff, accepting alternative forms of ID and treating their members with respect, regardless of immigration status.

Juntos avanzamos is Spanish for "Together we advance."

The Juntos Avanzamos website is described by the Federation as a tool for community-based organizations, national partners, local governments, consular offices and other stakeholders to connect their constituencies with responsible lenders and the “asset-building opportunities” that Juntos Avanzamos designated credit unions provide.

The primary purpose of the site is to help consumers find a financial institution committed to meeting the needs of Hispanic consumers in a responsible and inclusive manner, but the site also explains the difference between a credit union and a bank, provides information on how to join a credit union, and lists resources on citizenship and immigration. The site lists all Juntos Avanzamos credit unions and their branches, locates them on a map and links the listing to participating credit unions. Only credit unions that have received the Juntos Avanzamos designation are included on the site.

The launch of the new website was celebrated at the Mexican Consulate in New York City on Thursday, the start of the Mexican Government's Financial Education Week.

Driving growth

Hispanic consumers are a “driver of demographic and economic growth in the U.S.,” the Federation said in a statement, adding that at 2.9 percent, the Latino compound annual growth rate of GDP between 2010 and 2015 was nearly 70 percent higher than the non-Latino U.S. GDP growth rate of 1.7 percent. If these rates are sustained, Latinos will contribute nearly one-fourth of all U.S. GDP growth between 2019 and 2020, the Federation said.

“Hispanic consumers are an increasingly important part of the U.S. economy,” said Pablo DeFilippi, SVP of membership and network engagement at the Federation. “The launch of juntosavanzamos.org is an important step in helping Hispanics find a financial institution that will bring them out of the financial shadows and into the financial mainstream.”

Juntos Avanzamos is described as a unique collaboration within the credit union industry. First developed by the Cornerstone Credit Union League as a Hispanic outreach program in Texas, today the Federation is leading the national expansion of Juntos Avanzamos in partnership with Coopera, the Network of Latino Credit Unions and Professionals, California and Nevada Credit Union League, Cornerstone Credit Union League, Credit Union Association of New Mexico, Iowa Credit Union League, Illinois Credit Union League, League of Southeastern Credit Unions and Affiliates, Mountain West Credit Union Association, New York Credit Union Association and Northwest Credit Union Association.

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