A loan of $4,200 helped a member to buy more pigs and chickens.

Cumbe (Cuenca) Group's story

The Cumbe communal bank has 12 tenacious members who are determined to get ahead with their families. They live in Cumbe parish that is 24 kilometers south of the city of Cuenca. This parish has homes that are a mix of European, American and typical of the area construction styles. The latter have adobe walls and columns with wood windows and doors and floors of brick and wood; the structures are wood covered with traditional tile work giving the area a singular look blending several cultures. Cumbe also offers the visitor special recreational areas like El Calvario lookout which is a five minute drive or a 15 minute walk from the parish center, El Gulash which is between Cumbe and Jima, Pucará, a sacred archaeological site of the Cañaris people, the Cumbe river banks and the Ingahuasi ruins on the slope of Tinajillas Mountain.

María Lucrecia León, 62, is married and has four children who are married and live independently; her husband works in construction and thanks to his efforts at work when he was young they managed to build their home which they share with two grandchildren who keep them company.

María Lucrecia sells pigs and chickens in her community; she also cares for a cow whose milk she sells keeping some for personal home consumption.

She has been a member of the communal bank for four years and she has invested all her previous loans in her business. She will use the new funds to buy more pigs and chickens to increase her animal nursery.

Her goal is to continue growing in her business.

Like the other group members, Rosa G. lives in Cumbe. She became a member a cycle ago thanks to her sister-in-law who encouraged her to join. She has raised pigs and chickens for sale for 24 years and it was thanks to her sister-in-law that she went into this kind of business. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays she sells the animals and on weekends she tends to an eatery she owns from 8am until 3:30pm. She will use the new loan to buy more pigs and chickens to enlarge her business. Her goal is to expand her eatery by adding a second story onto it.

Rosa, 47, is married and has three children who are 26, 24 and 12 years of age. Her oldest is employed and uses his salary just for his own expenses. Her second daughter helps out in the eatery and the youngest is still in school. Her husband is a cattleman and his efforts have made it possible for him to build their house.

In this group: Laura Azucena, Nancy Faviola, Rosa Elvira, Maria Mercedes, Maria Teresa De Jesus, Sandra Lorena, Maria Rosa Florinda, Diana Pilar, Maria Lucrecia, Gloria Isabel, Maria Luzmila, Maria Targelia

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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