A loan of $3,775 helped a member purchase bread-making ingredients and equipment.

Banco Cartagena Group's story

There are 21 members of the "Cartagena" communal bank, and they live in Cartagena, a coastal community from the 5th Region in Chile. Their businesses are: the preparation and sale of foods like bread, empanadas, sweets, and salads (among others); kiosks and hardware shops; door-to-door clothing sales; and fishing.

Julia is the secretary of the communal bank, in the attached picture you see her in the center, with a beige zip-up fleece and sort hair, making bunny ears over the head of one of the other group members. For ten years Julia has been preparing breads, empanadas, and "berlines" (round pastries with cream filling) in her home, and selling the products from her home to neighbors, friends, and other clients she has met. The best times for sales are over holidays and long weekends, when people arrive to enjoy the beach in Cartagena.

Julia has the support of her husband, who is a bread maker. They have five grown children, who live independently with families of their own.

With the Fondo Esperanza loan, Julia will purchase ingredients and is considering the possibility of also purchasing a large mechanical bread mixer, which will help her make the dough for her products. Her husband can help her in the purchase of the machine, because the cost is pretty high.
Julia's dream is to have a bread shop in Cartagena where she, her husband, and two of her sons can work; one of them is also a bread maker and the other makes pastries.

Of the work she has done with Fondo Esperanza, Julia notes that the promotion of the value of the interpersonal relationship between the members of the group has been very important; especially their efforts to share the wisdom of their experiences with the younger members, and to help one another resolve problems. In terms of business, the most noteworthy part has been the training she and the other communal bank members have received on how to better manage their finances.

Cartagena is a beach community located in central Chile, very close to the port of San Antonio. The town’s economy depends primarily on tourism, especially in the summer and over holidays, during which many people come from nearby Santiago (Chile's capital). The town's population nearly doubles in the summer because of the tourists, whose business is a large source of income for the commercial and service providers in the area.

In this group: Pablo Antonio, Gladys Ester, Andrés Nercio, Julia Haydee, Aracely Andrea, Margarita Del Carmen, Elizabeth Margarita, Tomás Alberto, Paulina Andrea, Katiuska Michell, Elena Del Carmen, Belarmino Enrique, Elias Horacio, Jaime Enrique, Angelina Del Carmen, Cristian Alan, Sara Luz, Patricia Concepción, Marcela Alejandra, María Eugenia Del Carmen, Sebastian Antonio

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