A loan of $3,375 helped a member purchase animal feed.

Siempre Amigas (Cuenca) Group's story

The communal bank group “Siempre Amigas” (Friends Forever) gathers in the community of El Valle, about 20 minutes outside the city of Cuenca in southern Ecuador. The group consists of 12 members who are punctual, courteous, and get along very well with each other.

Mrs. Luz is 46 years old, married and has 6 children, 5 of whom live with her. She works from home, raising livestock and cultivating crops. She breeds guinea pigs, chickens, cows, pigs and sheep, and also harvests corn and beans for her family’s consumption. She is requesting a loan of $165 to buy food and vitamins for her animals, such as grass and grain for her guinea pigs. In the future, she would like to grow her business, but she cannot believe that she still spends lots of money on her children’s education. Some of them are in college now. "Hopefully they will turn out to be something in life and succeed," she said.

Mrs. Maria Transito is the sister of Mrs. Luz. She is 53 years old, divorced and has 6 children, two of whom live with her. She has two small businesses that help pay for her children's education: selling wood and cheese she makes from the milk of her own cows. She has faced a few challenges in her life – including health problems such as arthritis, hearing problems, and vision problems that have made it difficult for her to do much work. She is asking for a loan of $110, which will be used to buy firewood to sell later.

Mrs. Maria is 42 years old, married and has 3 teenage children. She raises animals such as guinea pigs, chickens, pigs and dairy cows. This woman also grows corn, broad beans and kidney beans in her fields. She said that she works hard so that her children can study and make something out of their lives. Maria will use her loan of $110 to buy feed for her chickens and pigs. She said that the money will be enough to feed her animals for 15 days.

The group is committed to pay the loan on time. The members have been very responsible with previous loans.

Note: The lady who appears in the photo on the right is Mrs. Rosa C., the treasurer of the community bank group. She could not attend the meeting when the group photo was made, so a separate photo was taken. The young man sitting on the left is the group’s loan officer, Pedro Vasquez.

In this group: Rosa Targelia, Rosa Florencia, Luz Filomena, Ruth Carlota, Luz Maria, Maria Patricia, Luz Aurora, Jael Cecilia, Viviana Elizabeth, Onofria Apolonia, Clemencia Beneranda, Maria Trancito

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ronan Reodica

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