A loan of $900 helped buying diadems, bows, headbands, earrings and more costume jewelry to stock her business.

Elourdes Maribel's story

Elourdes Z. is a member of the "Sol Naciente" ("Rising Sun") communal bank. She lives in the urban area of the city of Cuenca, the capital of Azuay province. The city lies in the central valley of the Ecuadorian Andes; it is Ecuador's third leading city and is well-known for maintaining the beauty and tranquility of an older city. Its historic center was declared a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site in 1999.

Elourdes works selling costume jewelry from her own stand in the open market (Cuenca Market). She works from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., only three days a week, and on the other days she dedicates herself to her household tasks. However, she is considering the possibility of working every day.

Elourdes is a native of Guayas province who has lived in Cuenca for four years. She is 35 years old and has been married for some years. She has three children who are now aged 20, 19 and 6. Her two older children stay at home, and her youngest child goes to school in the city. Her husband works selling chickens. They do not have their own house, so they live in rented quarters.

She is currently in her third loan cycle, and the loans have benefited her business. With the funds she receives from the new loan, she will buy diadems, bows, headbands, earrings and more costume jewelry for her business. Her dream is to be able to buy herself a car.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Patricia Linderman

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