A loan of $1,100 helped to purchase cheese.

Maria Beatriz's story

The Communal Bank Mujeres de Exito [Women of Success] is made up by a group of women that are eager to get ahead in life and surmount any challenges in their way. They live in different areas in the City of Cuenca; the City of Cuenca is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and as a consequence is very visited by domestic and international tourists that are attracted to the architecture of its historic center that blends the medieval and modern, and by its traditions and kind people.

Maria C. is the founding member of the Communal Bank Mujeres de Exito. She lives in the San Miguel community in the El Valle Parish. Maria is 49 years old, married, and has 10 children that are now 32, 29, 26, 23, 20, 18, 16, 12, 9, and 7 years old. Her two oldest children are married and live on their own, the next two have migrated abroad, the 20 year old is studying and works to contribute a little financially to household expenses, the 18 year old works as a chauffeur, and her youngest children are studying at Colegio CEDEC and the Parish’s public school. Her husband works as a clockmaker and also uses his vehicle to provide transportation services. She tells us that with a great deal of work, and having put aside other dreams, they have been able to build their biggest dream which was to build their own house.

Maria sells cheese at the Feria Libre (the Market in Cuenca) on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 7am until 2pm; on other week days she dedicates herself to her family and household chores.

Our member has worked with loans from our foundation for the past six and a half years and she tells us that the loans have helped her to continue expanding her business and have also allowed her to get ahead in life. What she most enjoys about her Communal Bank is the support that they offer each other, and also the training that The Foundation provides; The Foundation teaches people how to start their own productive businesses and how to save. With the loan that she requested through the institution she will invest in the purchase of cheese given that this product has become expensive because of the drought that has hit through the region. Her biggest dream is to not have any more debts.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Mariela Cedeño

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