Total loan: $5,075

Orilla Del Itata Group

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Chillán, Bío Bío Region, Chile / Food

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A loan helped to purchase firewood to cook her tortillas during the winter season.

Orilla Del Itata Group's story

“Orilla del Itata” Communal Bank is made up of 17 entrepreneurs, who engage in different businesses, among them, grocery sales, the preparation and sale of empanadas, catalog sales of lingerie, the sale of used clothing and household items. All live in the city of Chillán. Marcelina is president of the communal bank. She is shown in the last row of the photo on the end going from right to left. She has her hair drawn back. For reference, she is dressed in a black jacket, blue jeans and black shoes. You can see only a little of her attire. She prepares and sells “tortillas de rescoldo.” (They are prepared with wheat flour, butter and salt and are cooked in the cinders of a fire that is normally made on fine sand in order to improve the cooking. Then they are dug out, the ashes cleaned off and usually the burnt edges removed and they are served in slices). She has been in business for 15 years and notes that she has regular customers as well as others who come and go, but come back frequently. She works from Monday to Sunday and prepares and cooks her tortillas in the mornings at her house and during the afternoons she sells them at a place about three blocks from her house. She buys her ingredients directly from suppliers at a wholesale supermarket. Marcelina will use the loan to buy firewood to cook her tortillas during the winter season. One of her future goals is to install a shop where she can sell all kinds of groceries. Marcelina lives with her husband and her 18 year-old-daughter who is studying to be an assistant pre-school teacher. She is very happy and grateful for the opportunity provided by Fondo Esperanza since the loan will enable her to invest in her business during the winter season. In addition, she notes that she has learned principles of accounting that she has been able to incorporate in her business. Chillán is a settlement in the south central part of Chile. The name means “Seat of the Sun” in Mapudungun, the language of the indigenous Mapuches. Chillán is known as the “Cradle of the Country” or “The Land of Artists” because the city has given birth to people prominent in Chile’s history, such as, for example, the well known pianist, Claudio Arrau.