Empowering Women and Youth through Graduation and Financial Inclusion in Mexico


This project will empower 1,000 ultrapoor and 2,000 very poor women between the ages of 18-34 in the most marginalized communities in the states of Yucatán and Chiapas in Mexico to reach economic self-sufficiency through access to financial inclusion and social protection mechanisms. In conjunction with projects in Bangladesh and Vietnam, these three concurrent pilots will serve to drive a cross-country learning platform consisting of high-level working groups to share learning with government stakeholders and large scale NGOs in order to make the case for integration into social-protection systems and broad replication within large NGOs.


By targeting households at two levels of the socio-economic ladder – the ultrapoor and the very poor – the project will test two variations of the Graduation Approach adapted to the social, economic, and cultural specificities of the target populations of each region. The ultrapoor are characterized as highly vulnerable and marginalized populations who face extreme barriers to financial inclusion and economic self-sufficiency. These populations tend to be from indigenous communities, ethnic minorities, and/or people with disabilities.

Project Objectives

  • Increase government responsiveness to the needs of the ultrapoor
  • Facilitate sustainable livelihood development among communities living in conditions of ultrapoverty and vulnerability by ensuring social and financial inclusion.

Project Data

As of March 2019:

  • Trickle Up and partners completed the selection of 1,368 ultrapoor and very poor participants across five indigenous populations: Maya (in Yucatán), Chuj, Tsotsil, Tseltal and Tojol'ab'al (in Chiapas) in 78 previously identified indigenous communities.
  • 850 ultrapoor indigenous women and young people have developed their livelihood plans.
  • 82 savings groups have been created and trained in the Village Savings and Loan Association methodology, mobilizing 1,368 ultrapoor and very poor indigenous young women, including 144 people with disabilities.
  • Trickle Up finalized partnerships with Creative Learning, Enlace CC, and Ko'ox Taani. Each partner signed an MOU, with detailed objectives, implementation plans, and budgets.

Yucatán and Chiapas, Mexico

Start Date: 9/1/2017
End Date: 5/31/2021


Number of Participants: 3,000


Vulnerable Populations

Women, Indigenous Groups, People with Disabilities, Youth, Rural, Extreme Poor


Project Components

Stipend for Consumption Support, Asset Transfer, Coaching, Savings/Self-Help Groups (savings and credit services, Technical Livelihood Skills Training, Financial Literacy and Capability Training, Links to government services

Our Partners

Fundación Ko’ox Taani is a civil association that promotes self-managed social processes to help raise the quality of life of families living in extreme poverty in indigenous regions of the Yucatan Peninsula, applying the Graduation Approach including savings, credit, management of sustainable livelihoods, and economic development and implementation of income-generating projects. Trickle Up and Ko’oxTaani have been partners since 2015. 

Enlace, Communications & Training, is a civil association based out of Comitán, Chiapas. Enlace CC focuses on strengthening the autonomy and food sovereignty of indigenous and rural populations while engaging a variety of stakeholders at the municipal and state level.

Creative Learning is a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. that assists communities, non-governmental organizations, and educational institutions at home and abroad to foster change that has a lasting social impact. Focusing on communities with pressing human needs, Creative Learning enhances the capacity of local organizations around the world to improve the lives of people in their communities.

Other Project Partners