A loan of $550 helped purchase of thread, sugar, coloring, flour, and medicinal products.

Maria Cristina's story

Mrs. Maria Cristina is a great person who has had to live through a lot of adversity. Now she is happy to be a part of the Umiña Community Bank in the city of Manta, and thanks to their loans she has been able to improve her life.

Maria Cristina works sewing or crocheting different crafts; she is also an expert at making deserts, and has also started selling homeopathic medicines. She is involved in everything, and she is not one to sit there with her arms crossed doing nothing. She was born in Bello Canton in the province of Calceta. One day she decided to get on the first tuna boat to Manta. She came 15 years ago and since then she considers it her second home. Five years ago Maria Cristina lost her husband at the age of 50 and she still cannot believe it. She has had to assume the role of both mother and father because her children need all of her support.

Mrs. Maria Cristina learned how to sew by necessity and this is what now helps her continue to move forward. She makes wallets, bags, hats, and shirts by hand from a material called "rat's tail" and clasps. She starts working every day in her home; her sister brings her the material from Guayaquil. She has also started selling natural medicine products. Her handmade products are renowned even in other countries! She has friends and family who live abroad and she sends them products to sell. Her business is going well, and she is happy because she never imagined that her work would be so appreciated.

With the new loan she will invest in her three businesses, she needs thread for her crafts, sugar, flour, and coloring for her deserts, and she needs to fill several orders for her medicinal products.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Patrick King

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