On October 28th 1998, Hurricane Mitch struck Honduras and caused the worst flooding the country has experienced in close to 100 years.  In addition to claiming thousands of lives and destroying an estimated 35,000 homes, Mitch decimated one of the main markets in Tegucigalpa, the country’s capital.

In the aftermath of the disaster, most lending institutions were reluctant to provide credit to businesses that relied on a market that had been destroyed. How would these businesses repay loans, they asked, without a market to sell their products?  Without these loans, people would not be able to restart their businesses, making the impact of the hurricane even more devastating.

Fortunately, one organization was willing to provide this much needed credit. This was Fundación Covelo (“Covelo”), a pioneer of microfinance in Central America.

Today, Covelo functions as a second level institution and facilitates US$ 31.7 Million in loans to 40 microfinance institutions, which in turn serve close to 300,000 clients in rural Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and El Salvador. Covelo’s support targets low-income, mostly rural households. More than 53% of Covelo’s clients are women.

Covelo has had a catalytic impact on the microfinance sector in Honduras.

The foundation has supported the drafting and approval of regulatory laws for the sector and promoted a new field of study at the national university focused on building a technical career in microfinance.

Through its MFI clients, Covelo provides or supports a range of services that have a social and/or environmental impact. These include, among other areas of focus, providing credit to micro, small and medium enterprises, including rural businesses; supporting social housing; and offering micro-insurance.

In addition, Covelo is one of the few providers of student loans. It has not only promoted the creation of a specialized institution dedicated to educational loans but has also contributed its own funds to the project, targeting young students in Honduras in need of financial support in order to finish their studies and/or to progress to a higher or more specialized level of studies. Covelo has lent to approximately 800 low income students who have demonstrated high academic achievement.

Covelo is also committed to the generation of clean energy to serve the needs of non-electrified rural homes. An estimated 1.5 million people, approximately 30% of the rural population in Honduras, do not have access to the national electrical grid. The “Sol y Luz” (“Sun and Light”) project enables households to borrow US $ 1,000 to purchase a solar panel to generate electricity.  To date, Sol y Luz has provided electricity to over 750 families in Honduras and Nicaragua. This has allowed these families to extend their study or chore hours. It has also increased their access to radio and television as well as enabled them to charge cell phones and other electronic devices.  In short, Sol y Luz has helped increase productivity and made an enormous contribution to improving the quality of life for its beneficiaries. (Learn more about the Sol y Luz project by watching this video.)

At Deetken Impact, we are very pleased to be in negotiations, together with Inter-American Development Bank, to provide subordinated loans to Covelo. Our contribution will help the Covelo team support the 40 microfinance institutions who with whom they work.

Learn more about Covelo by clicking here.


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Andre Powell, Chief Executive Officer at Deetken Impact



With over 20 years of experience, André has a long track record of successfully advising public sector clients on significant private sector transactions, including strategic guidance on funding models, complex procurements, economic development and negotiations. Prior to co-founding The Deetken Group, André was a senior Associate at Booz & Co and an Analyst with Accenture’s strategy and finance practice. André is a seasoned investor having been actively involved in the Deetken Capital Investment Pool since inception. André received a BA from Queen’s University and an MA in Economics from the University of British Columbia.

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Jose Lamyin

Chief Investment Officer

José has extensive experience as a business advisor for clients throughout Canada, Europe and Latin America in mining, telecommunications, and finance. Prior to co-founding The Deetken Group, José worked for Teck Cominco in Peru and Canada and Deutsche Bank in London (UK). José has spearheaded much of the strategic growth of Deetken Asset Management since inception and is currently focused on investment selection.

José received his BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and MBA from IESE School of Business (Barcelona). Born in Peru, José is fluent in English and Spanish.

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Alexa Blain

Chief Operating Officer

Alexa brings over 10 years of experience in financial consulting and asset management, with specific expertise in company and investment analysis, business valuation and securities/corporate finance. Prior to joining Deetken, she spent three years with African Alliance, a pan-African financial services group, where she focused on expanding the firm’s retail financial services operations as well as on the origination and negotiation of new capital. In addition, Alexa has six years of asset management experience with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, the Macquarie Group and the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan.

Alexa is a CFA Charterholder. She has also completed an MA in Financial Economics and an Honours BA in Economics, both at the University of Toronto.

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German Matzumura

Regional Director

German began his banking career in 2006 as an Executive in Banco Financiero’s Personal Banking Division and was then promoted to Branch Manager. In April 2008 he joined Abaco, serving as a Manager of the Regional Division, where has worked in various capacities. In 2013, he was appointed as Head of the Regional Division and in 2016 was appointed as Deputy CEO.


German graduated in Business Administration from the Institute of Business Administration IPAE (Lima, Peru) and holds a Diploma in Marketing & Sales Management at the Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola. He also holds an MA in Marketing & Sales Management from the ESIC Business and Marketing School (Spain).


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Carl Black


Carl has over 5 years professional experience successfully working with clients to develop and improve policy, strategy, and operations. He has advised public sector clients and non-profits in Canada and financial services companies in Latin America. Prior to joining The Deetken Group Carl worked at the Bank of Canada, where he focused on issues related to household and business credit. 

Carl completed an Honours BA in Economics at the University of British Columbia. He also holds an MSc in Economics & Development from the University of Oxford, where he earned distinctions in quantitative and development economics.

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Samir Shah

Chief Growth Officer

Samir is a seasoned professional with a 15 year track record of success working with private and public sector organizations in the areas of strategy, business transformation, technology commercialization and financial analysis/due-diligence. Prior to co-founding The Deetken Group, Samir was a senior manager responsible for early stage technology commercialization at BlackBerry and NEC Electronics.

Samir received his BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and his MBA (Finance) from Queen’s University.

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Chad has worked as a consultant in business and technology for 20 years – often helping clients with their business transformation initiatives.    He has worked with start-ups, government, and established businesses to further their product and service offerings with a balanced approach.   After pursuing a research degree on leveraging technology for social and economic development; Chad has found a valuable alignment of his background with Deetken’s innovative impact investments.


Chad completed a BS in Engineering from the University of British Columbia and has a MSc with distinction from the University of Manchester (UK).

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