Total loan: $3,250

The Women´s Bank Of United Hands (Banco Mujer Manos Unidas) Group

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Pococi, Limon, Limón Province, Costa Rica / Agriculture

The Women´s Bank Of United Hands (Banco Mujer Manos Unidas) Group's loan finished fundraising,
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A loan helped For the purchase of livestock and animal feed.

The Women´s Bank Of United Hands (Banco Mujer Manos Unidas) Group's story

The name of this group is Banco Mujer Manos Unidas which translates as "The Women´s Bank of United Hands". The nine women members live in the rural area of Pococí, Limón, located near the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. Opportunities for employment are scarce in Pococí; many families rely on the production of subsistence crops and raising livestock in order to maintain their standard of living. The members of this group are involved in various productive activities including hen rearing for the production and sale of eggs, chicken rearing in order to produce quality poultry products and pig rearing in order to produce pork products. This loan will be used by each individual member to make necessary investments for the growth of their businesses to increase revenues and for the improvement of the lives of their families. The majority of this loan will be put towards the purchase of livestock and animal feed. Flor E. R. is a 39-year-old mother of four and the elected president of Banco Mujer Manos Unidas. She lives with her husband and three of her children. One of her daughters is studying Business Administration at the National University in Sarapiqui. She has one and a half years left until graduation. On their land, Flor and her family have planted subsistence crops including rice, beans, corn and plantains, among others. At the moment, Flor is raising 20 chickens, one pig to be slaughtered and sold, and 30 hens whose eggs will later be sold. She plans to invest this loan in the purchase of 40 more hens as well as nutrients and vitamins to feed them. Flor will be able to use family-produced corn to feed her chickens, but she will need to buy special vitamins to fight off dangerous parasites which could infect the animals. Her main challenges are coping with the high costs of animal vitamins and the occasional electricity problems at home, due to the fact that Flor and her family live in a rural area, 600 meters from the nearest road. At the moment, Flor is altering her production methods in order to produce 100% organically. This method of production is favourable to Flor because she "wants to provide a higher quality product and [she] is more comfortable eating food when [she] is conscious of the composition of all the nutrients used in its production" (meat products, crops, fertilizers and gas). Her main goal is to increase organic production on her land and to become independently sustainable, meaning she would like to use only home grown products in production. She would also like to install a biodigester (equipment used to harness animal discharge in order to produce gas for cooking). This equipment is sometimes donated to farmers by the Costa Rican government. Flor has known the other members of her group for 8 years. She says that applying for a loan in a group is better because the women can help each other to succeed in their businesses and repay their loans. Zelmira F. plans to use this loan to buy chicks and nutrients to feed them. When the chicks are ready, she will sell them and their eggs to neighbours and acquaintances in the community. Zelmira sells 12 eggs for 1000 colones (roughly $2 US). She mentions the importance of maintaining the good health of her animals in order to ensure a quality end product.