A loan of $2,000 helped a member to purchase piglets and pig feed.

The Women´s Bank Of Little Ants Group's story

The official name of this group translates as “The Women´s Bank of Little Ants”. This group consists of eleven members from the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica in the Cariari region. With this loan, each member will receive a deposit to invest at their discretion. These women have created The Women’s Bank of Little Ants as a formal way to support one another as guarantors of each other’s loans.

The Cariari region is located in the province of Limon. In this rural area, life has been difficult due to a lack of job opportunities, family responsibilities, low levels of formal education and a lack of available financial services. Their challenging situation has resulted in a communal initiative to create work for themselves by engaging wholeheartedly in the purchase, rearing and sale of pigs.

In order to fund the development of their businesses each woman is applying for a loan of 100,000 colons (roughly US$180). Their loans will be used to purchase piglets and nutritional food that will ensure their growth into quality livestock products. The pigs will be sold to people in the community for direct consumption or resale. From November to December is the high season for the group, the reason can be summed up in one word: Tamales. Tamales are a traditional Costa Rican food eaten at Christmas time and their main ingredient is pork. As customer needs for pork meat increase, so too do the revenues of the “Little Ants”.

For many of the group members, the responsibility of raising a family has fallen solely on their shoulders, rendering the income generated from pig sales a vital source of income. Despite their entrepreneurial spirit, their efforts have been hamstrung, partly due to exclusion from the traditional banking system. This is where you, through Kiva’s lending model, can help.

Your contribution is a direct investment in the betterment of the lives of women living in a poor community of Caribbean Costa Rica. By lending to these proactive and hardworking entrepreneurs, you are enabling them to help themselves.

The Group Members

These women identify most with the struggle of “little ants”. The members observe that “ants work together and support one another day and night, in order to build something that is bigger than themselves.” This can be taken to symbolize the group’s aspirations for growth and approval for more loans in the future. The following detailed description of Flor M. A. A. can be considered as generally applicable to all the women in the group: they are all participants in similar economic activities in the Caribbean region of Costa Rica.

Flor M. A. A. is the elected treasurer of this group. She is 38 years old and has not completed high school. She lives with her husband and two sons. Her husband is a farmer who grows plantains, rice and beans for family consumption and sells what he has left over.

On average, Flor earns 37,500 colons (roughly US$67) per month. At the moment, she has one pig; she would use this loan to purchase another. She would like to earn enough money from her pig-selling business so that she may buy a cow.

Flor takes pride in managing her business with one hand while raising her children with the other. An obstacle for her, and for all the group members, is the high cost of nutrients for the pigs. Transportation is another challenge: walking to town to get the nutrients and hauling them back is a laborious task. When it rains heavily, the rise in the nearby river makes transport by bus impossible.

The members of The Women´s Bank of Little Ants have lived in the rural zone of Cariari for their entire lives. They are experienced in the trade of livestock and other agricultural activities; for example, Flor has been rearing pigs for the last fifteen years of her life. Your loan will help these women take the first steps in a loan cycle that leads to the end of poverty.

In this group: Yudi, Flor , Yorleny, Maria Neri , Marilyn , Yamileth , Keylin, Rocio , Elieth, Maria, Blanca

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details