A loan of $4,750 helped a member to buy small farm animals to raise as well as articles for the home, office supplies, paper goods, toys.

Siempre Amigas(Cuenca) Group's story

The Amigas communal bank is located in the city of Cuenca, in the El Valle parrish, in the southest part of the city. This parrish is famous for its corn production and for its attractive tourist sites like the Cochapamba Lagoons, the Tasqui Hill, the Mulay River, among others, which attract tourists from all over the world.

This bank is made up of women and men who have come together to seek their own and their families' wellbeing. They are good, supportive friends to each other always thinking of ways to help each other get ahead.

Luz Maria U., 47, lives in the community of Gualacay in the El Valle parrish. She is happily married and the mother of 6 children whose ages are: 23, 21, 18, 15, 12, and 10. Her eldest daughter is married and lives independently with her own family. Her next eldest is a student at the University of Cuenca, her third and fourth children are students at the Guillermo Mensi High School, her fifth daughter studies at the Manuela Garaicoa de Calderon school, and her last son is a student at the local elementary school.

Maria is a housewife but also raises farm animals like cows, lambs, guinea pigs, chickens. She has been involved with the foundation for six cycles and comments that the loans obtained have allowed her to buy her animals little by little. With this new loan from ESPOIR she will buy feed for her animals since the draught has caused insufficient grass to be available for feeding.

Her goal is to increase her stock of animals by the addition of pigs.

Rosa Florencia C. C., 32, is another active member of the Siempre Amigas communal bank. She lives in Minas de Maluay, El Valle parrish, Cuenca. She is married and has two children, 13 and 11. Her eldest daughter studies at the Madres Oblatas school and her younger son attends the municipal elementary school. Her husband works in construction which produces income to meet household needs and to build their house which is still unfinished; they live in her mother's house.

Rosa has had a store for the past 4 years and does well. Her working schedule is from 8-12 and 3-7. She also raises a bull and guinea pigs for their own consumption.

She has been working with the foundation for two years and the loans she has received she has invested in her business. With this new loan she will buy articles for the home, school supplies, toys, cosmetics, etc. to have a varied stock available for the Christmas season and better meet her customers' needs.

Her dream is to own her own, large store so that she can sell a wider variety of products.

Maria Patricia A., 42, lives in the Gualancay community, El Valle parrish, Cuenca. She is married and the mother of 3 children, 18, 16, and 13 years old. All of her children are students at the Guillermo Mensi school. Her husband works in construction and his earnings support the family and allow them to build their house.

Maria Patricia is a housewife but also raises small farm animals like guinea pigs, pigs, lambs, cows. She shares the milk she gets from her cows with her neighbors.

Maria Patricia has been involved with the foundation for three cycles and is very happy with her loans which she has invested in purchasing animals for her yard. This new loan will be used to buy still more animals and feed for them.

In this group: Rosa Targelia, Rosa Florencia, Luz Filomena, Ruth Carlota, Luz Maria, Maria Patricia, Luz Aurora, Dora Angelica, Ilda Carmita*, Jael Cecilia, Esther Galud, Viviana Elizabeth, Ryth Alexandra, Onofria Apolonia, Maria Florencia, Clemencia Beneranda, Jose Romulo, Maria Trancito

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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