A loan of $3,025 helped a member buy seeds, fertilizer, small animals and animal feed.


San Juan Ollantaytambo Group's story

The San Juan Ollantaytambo Village Bank is made up of 17 members who live about 20 minutes outside the town of Ollantaytambo, in the Sacred Valley outside the city of Cusco. The group has been together for 18 months (3 loan cycles), and has just graduated from Phase I of Arariwa’s group loan program, meaning that all of the group’s 2,600 soles in savings (US$825) was returned.

The group is now entering its first cycle of Phase II, for which it has invited four new members to join the group. All of the group members are from the same area and know one another well. Almost all of them work in agriculture or raise livestock, with the exception of the group’s president, Sra. Silvia, who is a schoolteacher in Cusco, and Marina, who sells clothing. Most of the group members speak Quechua (the primary indigenous language of Peru) as a first language, which is common in the countryside in the mountains. The group’s loan officer, Alfredo, also speaks Quechua, and conducts group meetings in a mix of Quechua and Spanish.

The group meets in Paulina’s home, which is located right next to the train tracks; each day dozens of trains pass by, taking tourists to and from Machu Picchu. Paulina is 43 years old. She has a family farm, where she grows corn, potatoes, squash, and wheat and also has eleven cows. She buys the cows young, then feeds and fattens them, and finally sells them to buyers who sell the meat in Lima.

Paulina is requesting a loan of 500 soles, which she plans to use to buy guinea pigs and chickens to raise. Guinea pigs are a Peruvian delicacy and relatively lucrative to raise, though they require a lot of care and attention to keep healthy. She buys each one for 15 to 20 soles, and can eventually sell them for twice as much. Chicks cost 15 soles for a pair, and after three to four months Paulina expects to sell them for twice as much. The group has pledged to repay its Kiva loan in full and on time.

Note: Two of the people appearing in the group photo are not members: the girl on the far left is the daughter of one of the group members, while the man seated on the ground in front is the group’s loan officer, Alfredo Lopez.

In this group: Adriana, Paulina, Rosa Luz , Raymundina, Juliana , Serafina, Serafina, Silvia, Laddy, Nilo, Andrea, Frine, Maria Elizabeth, Marina, Roxana, Luisa , Gregoria
*not pictured



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