Buki di seter

Lusette Verboom tells us about seter, a cooperative savings system for funerals. “My mother opened a seter account for me and my six siblings as soon as we were born. This meant that every one of us had his or her own seter book, just like my parents. My father and mother were members of the seter from Montaña.”

“Once a month the members gather in the kas di seter (house of seter) to discuss what needs to be done with their savings to guarantee a reasonable return. The return on savings is then used to cover some of the costs of members’ funerals. Obviously the system has to be cost-effective for it to function!”

“Some of my brothers and sisters don’t make use of their seter books anymore. Their savings now belong to the organization. My mother and father died at 88 and 91, they had both saved a lot. We received 3000 guilders for both of them and used the money to pay part of the coffins.”

Curaçao has a long history of cooperatives. The first ones were small factories at the beginning of the 20th century. In 2018 more than one in every five people was a member of one or more cooperatives, mainly credit unions.

“The return on savings is used to cover the costs of members' funerals.”