A loan of $4,025 helped a member buy sheets, comforters, tablecloths, jewelry, sugar, condensed milk, guava, cones, and dishes.

Maria Reina De La Paz(Cuenca) Group's story

The María Reina de la Paz Communal Bank is comprised of 11 members who are always looking for daily opportunities to improve the economy of their households. They do this to get ahead with their families.

They live in the city of Cuenca, which is 2,500 meters above sea level. It is situated in a great valley within the Andes mountain range. It is surrounded by four rivers; Tomebamba, Yanuncay, Machángara and Tarqui; that start at the Cajas junction. The rivers create spaces in the valley of Guapondelig in the town of Cañari. They invite its residents and visitors to enjoy the majestic rivers and to take pleasure in them.

Carmen A., age 37, has been divorced for six years due to her spouse’s infidelity. She has four children; ages 23, 18, 15, and 13. Her first two children work and help economically with the household expenses. They also help with the educational expenses for the two younger children. The two younger children are in the city’s high school. The house they live in is rented, and her dream is to have her own house.

Carmen sells comforters, sheets, tablecloths, and jewelry, etc. She sells along the streets of her area giving credit in order to get more customers. She tells us that she previously worked in a bar that she owned. But, due to health problems, she had to leave this business.

She has been a member with us for four years. The loans she has received have been invested in her business. With the new loan she will buy sheets, comforters, tablecloths, and some jewelry. She will buy these things to have sufficient stock for her customers, and to give them good service.

Luisa Solórzano is a charismatic member with a great desire to grow economically in order to help her family. She is in her second cycle of working with her bank. She has been doing domestic work in other people’s houses for eight years. She does this from Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. She spends the rest of her time devoted to her family. On the week-ends she sells juices, “espumillas” (a frothy drink made from beaten egg whites and fruit), and “granizados” (colored ice in various flavors with condensed milk). She sells these traveling her area.

She will use the new loan to buy sugar, condensed milk, guavas, cones, some dishes, and other things she needs for her business. Her goal is to have a bar. She could work her business from there and not have to travel the streets of the city.

Luisa, age 48, lives with her husband. He does not work due to the condition of his health. He has renal insufficiency and vascular thrombosis. Her four children are 21, 19, 13, and 11 years old. Her last daughter goes to a school in the city. Her first three children attend a different school. They live in a rented house because they do not have their own house.

In this group: Maria Narcisa De Jesus, Carmen Delia, Maria Juana, Maria Lucia, Blanca Carmita, Maria Beatriz, Patricia Marlene, Livia Asucena, Flavia Yolanda, Flor Felicia, Valeria Adrian

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ginny Kalish

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