A loan of $2,650 helped a member construction of a chicken house, to purchase animals, feed, vitamins, and merchandise for a store.

Cumbe (Ceunca) Group's story

The communal bank, "Cumbe," is located on the outskirts of the city of Cuenca. Its climate is cold. This area is characterized by plains where the majority of its inhabitants make a living through agriculture, livestock, and producing dairy products such as cheeses, butter, yogurt, etc.

The members of the Cumbe communal bank live in the parish of San Antonio. Almost all of them have known each other since they were girls. They are very good friends, and this is always a very happy and united group. They are willing to work together to achieve a better quality of life for themselves and their families. Following are some stories of the members of the bank.

Señora Gloria Isabel León T. is a very contributing member of the Cumbe communal bank. She lives in the community of San Antonio in the Cumbe parish. She is 31, married, and has 2 children. Her husband works in construction, which allows him to help his family economically. The house they live in is rented.

Gloria sells cows, pigs, and sheep. She buys them and and resells them the same day or takes them to her home to care for them and raise them a little more and then sells them the following week. She has done this for 4 years, and she tells us that it is going very well. She also raises guinea pigs and chickens.

Gloria has a good friendship with the other members of the group. She has worked with the foundation for 5 years. She tells us that with the loans she has received, she has been able to stabilize herself economically.

With this loan that Fundación Espoir is offering her, she is going to invest in the construction of a chicken house. Her biggest dream is to have her own home for the comfort and tranquility of her whole family.

Señora María Mercedes M. L. is an active member of the Cumbe communal bank. She lives in the Cumbe parish in the community of San Antonio. She is 40 and has 5 children, who are 23, 22, 18, 16, and 14. She had her two oldest children with a man with whom she used to live, but they separated. Now she has a new relationship, and because of this, their father chose to take them to live with him in the city of Quito. Her children don't come to visit her, and she hasn't been able to go visit them because of her current husband. Her 18-year-old son works as an assistant on a truck. Her 16-year-old daughter studies in the Miguel Cervantes school in Cumbe, and her youngest daughter studies in the Marianitas school in the city of Cuenca.

She tells us that at first, the situation with her current husband wasn't good because he treated her badly, and he was very bad. But he changed for the better when he traveled out of the country to work. Being away made him start to value his family. It's been a year since he returned, and he is a different person. He is very caring and stays at home. They live in their own home.

María works in agriculture. She sells what she produces in the markets and has enough for their own consumption. She also owns a cow that provides her with milk for her customers. She has also had a supplies store for 10 years. She tells us that it is going very well because she has a fixed clientele.

María has been a member of the communal bank for 10 years. She tells us that her loans have benefitted her a lot because they have allowed her to finish building her home and to start her store.

With this loan from Fundación Espoir, she is going to invest in the purchase of assorted merchandise to supply her store and to offer better service to her customers. Her goal is to have large shed for chickens.

Señora María Luzmila T. G. is a charismatic member of the Cumbe communal bank. She lives in the Cumbe parish in the community of San Antonio. She is 49 and has been a widow for 15 years. She became very sad when she told us that her husband was murdered by his friend and she still doesn't know his motive. She has six children, and the oldest ones are married. She currently lives with her 20-year-old son, who works to help her with their home's expenses. Her 15-year-old daugther is a single mother of a 9-month-old boy. They live in a little old adobe house, but it is their own.

María works in agriculture and produces papas, vegetables, etc., to consume in their home. If the production is good, they sell part of it in the markets. She also raises chickens and guinea pigs and has a dairy cow. She sells what it produces to the dairy trucks that pass through the countryside. She gets up very eary because she has to distribute her time between the fields and caring for her home and her grandson.

Within the communal bank, the members get along very well. Besides being good friends, they are family. María has recieved loans from Fundación Espoir for 7 years. She is very thankful for the help she has received because it has let her stabilize herself a little economically.

She will invest the loan from the foundation in the purchase of more chickens, feed, and vitamines to grow her business. In this way, she will improve the economic resources of her home. Her dream is to remodel her home because it is in bad shape.

In this group: Laura Azucena, Gloria Isabel, Rosa Elvira, Maria Mercedes, Maria Teresa De Jesus, Diana Pilar, Maria Lucrecia, Maria Luzmila, Maria Targelia

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Tanya Harper

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