A loan of $4,475 helped a member purchase livestock and other materials.

Yanaturo Alto (Cuenca) Group's story

The Yanaturo Alto Communal Bank is located west of the city of Cuenca, about 15 minutes away, and lies in the area of Lazareto del Carmen. The residents of the area are engaged primarily in agriculture and animal husbandry. There are factories that produce candles, hats and industrial machinery, and provide work to anyone who wants a manufacturing job similar to those found in larger cities. Children spend most of their time inside because of the unevenness of the land and the strong winds that blow all day long. This group consists of 12 women, all of whom are organized and well-mannered. They are devoted to different business activities, carried out both within and outside of the home. Here are some examples:

Sra. C. I. Blanca Celestina: Blanca is 27 years old, married, and has three children (ages 9, 7, and 1). The two oldest children attend school in the Yanaturo area. Her husband works in the city as a jeweler. The communal bank gathers at her house every 15 days for their meetings because she is the group president. She currently leases her home, but will own it outright in about two months when she completes the payments. During the week, Blanca spends most of her time on household chores. On the weekends or whenever people ask her, she prepares food at her customer’s house or in her own home. She learned to cook about 10 years ago when she worked at a restaurant called Balcón Cuencano. Everything she makes is well received because the food is quite tasty.

Blanca is requesting a loan of $440 USD from Fundación ESPOIR to buy pots, industrial kitchenware, and other materials needed for her work. Her future goal is to finish her house payments and, at the same time, open a restaurant.

Sra. C. Guamán Cecilia Del Rocío: Cecilia is a native of East Puyo, Ecuador and has lived in Cuenca 23 years. Her husband is 33 years old and also from Puyo. They have four children (ages 15, 10, 8 and 3). The first three children are students, one in high school and the other two in elementary school. Cecilia spends her time sewing, which she has been doing for about 4 months. She is not a professional yet, but is still learning. Sra. Cecilia works with Sra. Pilar S., who is also a communal bank member, and asked to be part of the group. Her first loan was very beneficial because she used her $330 to buy a sewing machine and fabric. Although not yet known for her work, she is learning from Doña Pilar how to make trousers, blouses, dresses, and sportswear. She needs to purchase lycra fabric, which costs $5.80 per yard. Her work schedule runs between 8am-12pm and 2pm-5pm. She also works on the weekends during the morning. She is able to get much accomplished on the weekends because her husband helps with the household chores. He works as a company driver and is off on the weekends. Cecilia’s goal is to continue learning her craft and open a workshop in her home.

Sra. I. Zumba María Ángeles: María is 55 years old, married and has 12 children between the ages of 10 and 20. She doesn’t remember the exact ages of each of them. Four of them are in high school, three are in elementary school, and the older ones are working and married. She lives in a rented house because her family cannot complete the construction on their own. Her husband is a farmer, and when he is not working, he helps around the house. She spends her time performing household chores (including washing clothes), raising animals, and cultivating crops. Starting on Thursdays and through the weekend, she washes clothes for neighbors. She charges $1 per dozen garments, $0.50 for blankets, and $0.25 for jackets. María is a native of Santa Ana, which is a parish in Cuenca. She has lived in Yanaturo for 18 years. She will use her loan of $330 to buy livestock that she will yoke together to plow her fields. She plans to fight through life’s struggles and hopes to own a house so that she can rest peacefully and not have to worry about the rent each month.

In this group: Blanca Celestina, Zoila Targelia, Maria Jose, Zoila Targelia, Rosa Elvira, Cecilia Del Rocio, Jessica Janina, Zara Rosario, Maria Soledad, Maria Angeles, Esperanza Del Pilar, Luz Maria

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ronan Reodica

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