A loan of $4,900 helped a member buying guinea pigs, chickens, animal feed, and seeds for corn, beans, peas, etc.

Tres De Noviembre Cumbe(Cuenca) Group's story

The 3 de Noviembre Village Bank is made up of 13 hard-working women who are always looking for better opportunities for their families. They live in the Cumbe parish, which is located in the south of the canton of Cuenca. It is bordered in the north by Tarqui parish, in the south by Jima parish of Sígsig canton and the edge of Girón canton, to the east by the parishes of Quingeo and San José in Sígsig canton, and in the west by the parish of Victoria del Portete. The leading economic activity in the area is agriculture, and the most important products are corn, potatoes, beans and milk. A large proportion of the younger population travels daily to Cuenca to work as factory employees, handicraft artisans, store employees, service workers and above all, construction workers.

María Auxiliadora is 48 years old and lives with her two younger children, aged 15 and 12, who attend a nearby school. Her other four children are married and independent. Her husband is a mason, and through many years of sacrifice, he was able to build the family's own home in the Cumbe community.

María Auxiliadora was one of the founding members of the communal bank, and she has been with the bank for fifteen years. She was inspired by a neighbor who belonged to an earlier group in the neighborhood which broke up. Later, this new group of hard-working and enterprising women was formed. María Auxiliadora's business is buying and selling animals. She deals in guinea pigs and hens at the Cumbe markets and at Cuenca's public market. This activity has allowed her to advance economically. She has worked for 20 years in the markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and on the other days, she takes care of her animals. She also keeps cows, whose milk she sells to mobile distributors. With the current loan, she will buy more guinea pigs and hens to resell.

Her goal is to expand her business day by day and reach the point where she can buy herself a vehicle.

Luz Fernández lives in the "3 de Noviembre" community of the Cumbe parish. She is 60 years old and was widowed 18 years ago when her husband was killed in a traffic accident. The couple had four children, who are now grown and married. Luz lives in her own house with one of her daughters who keeps her company and shares the household expenses.

Luz works in agriculture; she grows corn, potatoes and a variety of vegetables. She also keeps cattle, selling the milk to mobile distributors. In addition, she raises guinea pigs and chickens. She tells us that she has been a member of the communal bank since its beginnings, that is, for the past 15 years. The loans have been beneficial for her business of buying and selling animals. With the new loan, she will buy chickens, guinea pigs and feed for her animals, as well as seeds for corn, beans, peas and other crops.

Her goal is to continue working as long as her health permits.

In this group: Rosa Maria, Maria Rosa Marina, Deicy Beatriz, Rosario, Silvia Magdalena, Maria De Los Dolores, Julia Maria, Maria Auxiliadora, Maria Etelvina, Luz Bertha, Flor Martina, Rosa Luzmila, Maria Leticia*
*not pictured

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Patricia Linderman

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