A loan of $2,975 helped a member to purchase chicks, guinea pigs, pigs, food pellets and other feed to raise the animals.

La Merced (Cuenca) Group's story

The communal bank La Merced is made up of 9 women who fight day to day for a better present and future for their children. They are proud of what they have acccomplished so far. They live in the Santa Ana parish in the Cuenca canton. To the north is the Paccha parish, to the south is the Quingeo parish, to the east is the Zhidmad parish of the Gualaceo canton, and to the west is the El Valle parish. 14 km away is the city of Cuenca. Its church is the main tourist attraction of the parish, as well as “the Festival of the Song" which happenes every year and attracts a number of visitors from the region and other cities in the country.

Mrs. Blanca M. is in her fourth cyle working with her community bank. She was motivated to join this group of working women by a friend from the community. She raises chickens, guinea pigs and pigs that she sells in her community, especially when she has a finanacial emergency. With the loan she receives she is going to buy chickens, guinea pigs and their feed.

Our member is 46 years old. She was widowed six months ago because her husband drank too much. She had four children with her deceased husband, aged 21,18,16 and 11. Her oldest two children are married and live independently. Her 16 year old daughter is the only one who lives with her and she is a domestic worker and helps her with the household expenses. Her youngest daughter goes to school in town. Thankfully, she has her own home, inherited from her father who passed away two months ago.

Her goal right now is to make some home repairs.

Fanny is 29 years old. She is married and has two children who are 11 and 3. Her oldest daughter goes to a community school and the three year old stays with her. She is living in her parents-in-law's house until she can afford to build her own. Her husband drives a dump truck that he owns and she raises and sells guinea pigs, chickens and pigs for her family's own consumption and to sell in the community.

She has been a member for three cycles. She was invited by her sister in law to enter this wonderful group of enterprising women. She is going to invest her loan in purchasing more pigs, food pellets and other feed to raise them.

In this group: Eulalia Eloisa, Lourdes Isabel, Laura Maria, Blanca Filomena, Maria Eudocia*, Fanny Carmen, Maria Teresa, Laura Isabel, Rosa Angelita
*not pictured

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ellen Donohue

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