A loan of $1,800 helped a member buying more products to expand her inventory.

Mujeres Del Valle Group's story

The communal bank "Mujeres del Valle" ["Women of the Valley"] is made up of 5 enterprising people, from the village of Santa Maria in Jamastran, El Paraíso. The members of the group are Leyla del Carmen M. C., Neybi Sofia R. O., Julia Amparo O., Yolanda Maribel M. V. and Félix O. M..

The following sections describe the diverse activities they carry out each day to earn their income:

Leyla del Carmen M. C. is the mother of three children and resides with her live-in partner, Josué Herrera, in Santa Maria de Jamastran, El Paraiso. Leyla is a traveling salesperson who sells cosmetics in her community. The products she sells include body and facial creams, deodorants, lotions, shampoo, conditioners and lip gloss. Leyla has sold these products to her customers in the community for several years, building up a loyal network of customers who are very happy with her level of service. Leyla's business helps her pay the household expenses and the educational fees for her three children.

Leyla will use the loan to expand her inventory with the most popular products, such as lotions, deodorants and lip gloss, as well as buying some new products, such as combs, lipstick and eye shadow. With the earnings from her business, Leyla will cover the academic costs for her children and improve her family's quality of life.

Neybi Sofia R. O. is the common-law wife of Sebastián M., with whom she has 4 children. Sebastián emigrated to the United States in search of a better life, and he sends funds to Neybi every month to help with the household expenses.

Neybi sells personal care products such as lip gloss, powders, shampoo, conditioner, and body and facial creams. Neybi makes most of her sales as a traveling salesperson in the municipality of Santa Maria, Jamastran. With the earnings from her business, Neybi has been able to help her family get ahead, providing her children with an education so they can have a better future. Neybi will use the loan to buy more products and thus increase the variety she offers to her customers, so she can improve her sales.

Julia Amparo O. has four children and is married to José Rodríguez. Julia and Jose live in the municipality of Santa Maria in Jamastran, El Paraiso. Jose is a farmer who plants corn and beans every year. For several years, Julia has worked preparing food in her own house, after the small restaurant next door closed down, and the customers asked her if she could cook for them. Most of Julia's customers are members of the National Police from her municipality and from Chichicaste. With this loan, Julia will pay for the installation of a stand in front of her house from which she will sell fast food and snacks. Julia will use the earnings from her business to improve her family's quality of life.

Yolanda Maribel M. V. has 3 children and is married to Walter Ardon, with whom she lives in the municipality of Santa Maria, in Jamastran, El Paraiso. Yolanda has worked for several years selling bread and snacks as a mobile vendor. When there are soccer games in her town, Yolanda prepares her basket of bread and snacks and walks to the stadium, where she sells food to the spectators. During the week, Yolanda works baking bread to sell in the corner stores in her town.

Yolanda will use the loan to cover the expenses of buying eggs, flour, oil, shortening, margarine, sugar, yeast, beef, cabbage, tomatoes, onion, corn flour and beans. The earnings from her business will help Yolanda and her husband support their children, so they can continue with their studies.

Félix O. M. works as a tailor in his village of Santa Maria in Jamastran, El Paraiso. Félix has no children, but he helps a niece who depends on him. Félix has made men's pants and women's suits for many years. Although Félix lives in Santa Maria, he has many customers who travel from nearby communities for his services, because the quality of his work is well known. Félix will use the loan to buy more fabrics and accessories for tailoring. With the earnings from his business, Félix will be able to improve his standard of living and cover his niece's housing expenses.

In this group: Leyla Del Carmen, Neybi Sofia, Julia Amparo, Yolanda Maribel, Félix

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Patricia Linderman

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