Secret Savers in the States
Maria is 33, unmarried and has one child. She owns her own home. She is employed as a nanny, and also has a house cleaning business. She has both a personal checking and savings account. Luis is 30, unmarried and has no children. He rents a room from Maria. He owns a deli and has both business banking accounts as well a personal checking and savings account. Ernesto is 33, married and has two children. He rents, but is saving for a home. He is employed as a chef in a restaurant. He has both a personal checking and savings account. Veronica is 56, married and has seven children some of whom are adults. She owns a home. She also owns a restaurant. She has business banking accounts along with a personal checking and savings account.
Besides a bank account, what do these people have in common? They are each part of a ROSCA (a rosca, incidentally, is a ring-shaped pastry served on King’s Day). In a fresh piece of surveillance, Anarge Frangos, interviews members of a complex tanda, the name given to rotating savings clubs in the Mexican American community.
What’s interesting about this group is that most members do not know one another (so much for the oft-used adjective transparency that accompaniesmost descriptions of savings groups). In an intricate system of members, agents and sub-agents, this particular tanda is masterminded by an organizer who refuses to talk to the author.
Regardless of the group’s elaborate operations, much of it conducted in secret, the benefits to members appear universal. Reports one member Luis:
“You save your money every week. You have to do it. Even if you don’t have enough money to go to the bar you have to do it. If you have the money at home it is like you are going to take it. When it is a big sum like $8,200 you think OK this is my saving money. This is money for my future.”
For the full story, click here.
Reader Comments (1)
Kim--I love to hear about these initiatives in developed countries. Really points to the flexibility and adaptability of the methodology. I am curious about the number of these tandas in the US. how popular are they? are these isolated examples or is this part of a bigger trend in migrant communities?
Fri, April 27, 2012 | Eloisa Devietti