A loan of $1,400 helped a member to buy hair-smoothing cream, shampoos, deodorants, sandals and medicines.

Ramona's Group's story

Gregoria G. M., pictured second from the right and dressed in white, is the group coordinator for her 5-member group called "Trabajadores Unidos", which means "United Workers". She is the single mother of three children: a daughter of 22, and two boys ages 18, and 10. They reside in Paraiso Escondido, a small town in the sector of Punta de Villa Mella, in Santo Domingo Norte. Her daughter began studying law last year, her oldest son is a sophomore in high school, and her youngest son is a talented baseball player.

Her home, along with her previous business, a general store in her home, was swept away when a river flooded near her house last year, taking four other houses with it. As a result, her two oldest children had to stop going school to meet their basic needs. She is starting over now by opening up a similar store from her home, selling general care products and basic medicines.

Gregoria plans to invest in such products as hair-smoothing cream, deodorants, shampoos, medicines, and sandals, which she buys in bulk and says are the products in highest demand. The home she is living in now, Gregoria says, is located in a very strategic business location relative to her town. At the end of this loan, she hopes her store will be firmly reestablished, providing her once more with a steady source of income. With this steady income, she hopes to start saving for her daughter's education, and to be able to pay for her sons' schooling and for the baseball coaching and cleats for her youngest son. She also plans to continue working on finishing her current home, as she has placed 800 out of 1,300 cinder blocks for it so far. Since her business is run from her home, having it completed would allow her business to expand.

Some of her long-term goals are to be able to pay for her daughter's law school education, and also to be able to continue to encourage and support her youngest son, as they hope he makes it to the big leagues.

In this group: Ramona, Maria, Rosa, Gregoria, Verani

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