A loan of $2,200 helped a member vegetables for sale.

Cristo Del Consuelo(Cuenca) Group's story

Cristo del Consuelo is made up of nine members constantly searching for ways to get ahead and be able to give their families a better future. They live in the Cristo del Consuelo section of the city of Cuenca, their communal bank’s namesake. This area is characterized by its many cabanas where people toast with “canelazo” (an orangeade flavored with cinnamon and a bit of liquor). There is also a large variety of grilled meats.

Rosa is 35 years old. She is married and has five children, ages 18, 16, 14, 12, and 2. Her three oldest children work in a carpentry shop and they help support their parents. Her 12 year old son attends school in the city. Her husband works construction as a mason. Thanks to their joint effort, they have managed to have a home built.

Rosa has been selling vegetables for the past 12 years. She began doing this in order to improve their financial status. She works from 4:00 am to 11:00 am, seven days a week and has her own stall in the “Feria Libre” market in Cuenca. This is her second loan through the communal bank. She had been invited into the group by a friend and will use the money from this loan to invest in carrots, beets, lettuce, chard, tomatoes, onions, etc, in order to continue to prosper in her business. Her greatest dream is for her children to finish their schooling and find a good career, so that they can have a bright future.

Eliva is one of the youngest members and she has good friendships with the other members. This will be her second loan. She also sells vegetables and she began doing this out of need to help her family. She works from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm, seven days a week and will use the money from this loan to buy more onions, tomatoes, chard, lettuce, beets, and other vegetables in order to grow her business.

Elvia is 20 years old. She is single and lives with her mother because her father passed away 10 years ago. She helps out with the household and food expenses and wants to complete the bachelors degree that she began, but had to stop out of economic necessity.

In this group: Olga Tarcila, Blanca Norma, Elvia Marlene, Maria Alegria, Rosa Hermelinda, Maria Del Auxilio, Gladys Doraliza, Maria Cristina, Maria Blanca

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Hugo Reyes

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