A loan of $900 helped to buy rice, sugar, cooking oil, pasta, etc.

Esther Josefina's story

Esther C. is an active member of the “El Arenal” communal bank. She lives in Tarqui parish, which is in the southern part of Cuenca, and is famous for Lakes Totoracocha and Condorcocha in Tutupali Grande. Esther is 53 years of age, a single mother, and has 8 children, who are 37, 35, 33, 27, 25, 22, 21 and 19 years old. Almost all of her children are married and live independently. She only has two single sons; the 25-year-old, who lives with his sister and her 19-year-old who chips in a bit for family expenses. She does not own a house; she lives in a relative’s house.

Esther sells food in her community’s 27 de Julio market on Sundays. She’s open for business from 6am until she runs out of food. Her mother taught her how to cook and season her delicious food. She also does the household chores and raises small farm animals, like: pigs, chickens, guinea pigs and cows. She sometimes sells the milk she gets from her cows to merchants or she uses it for her own consumption. When she faces unexpected expenses, she sells her animals.

She has been in her communal bank for two-an-a-half years. She has used the funds received to get ahead in her business and at home.

She will use the new loan to buy cooking oil, salt and quintales (weight measure equivalent to 46 kilos) of rice and sugar as well as other ingredients for her meals so that she can offer her customers a wider variety. Her goal is to continue with her business and to grow economically in her life.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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