A loan of $3,075 helped a member oil, potatoes, paper, condiments and napkins.

Frutos De Vida Group's story

This communal bank is called Frutos de Vida. It is made up of 18 members, residents of the city of Temuco. They work in different independent businesses such as: pastrymaking, manufacturing of saddles and spurs, sewing, selling used clothes, firewood and charcoal, and recycling copper, bronze and aluminum.

The member who was interviewed was María Magdalena, the president of the group. In the photo, she is seated in the first row, fourth from the left. She sells recyclable materials such as cardboard, bottles, metal, iron, and scrap (such as beverage cans). She has been at the business for 39 years. She has two adult children and her daughter also belongs to this group and sells fast food.

María Magdalena will invest this loan in merchandise, since she doesn't only collect but also buys whatever she needs. She also has the motivation to begin to sell french fries in a cart she outfitted a little with previous loans. The cart is at her house. For this she will buy oil, potatoes, paper, condiments (ketchup and mustard), and napkins.

For her it has been very important to work with Fondo Esperanza. It has been a big financial, moral and motivational support, thanks to the weekly meetings in which she shares with the other members and learns about how to manage her business. For María Magdalena, it is very important to stay busy and useful. Some time ago she was depressed and her business helped her to get better.

Temuco is the capital of the Araucanía region. The city is 670 kilometers from Santiago ( the capital of Chile). It has a series of lake beaches and very striking native flora and fauna. It's worth noting that in this region live 50% of the Mapuches, an indigenous group that exists in our country. This area was damaged by the recent earthquake that affected Chile, but this communal bank suffered no ill effects from it.

In this group: María Magdalena, Patricia, Aurora, Andrea, Juana, Francisca, Silvia, Cecilia, Elizabeth, Yessica, Mónica, Celso, Juan, Carmen, Didier, Sandra, Karina, Pamela

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ellen Donohue

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