A loan of $3,025 helped a member to buy firewood, maize and lime for making tortilla dough.

Las Trabajadoras Group's story

This village bank is called "Las Trabajadoras" - "the working women" - because the members of the group consider themselves a hard-working group of women. The village banks are groups of 10 or more people who, together, hold a bank account and have to meet weekly or fortnightly to make their repayments. They have an elected representative and a committee which oversees the group. This group is based in the commun ity of Valle Verde, in the state of Michoacán. The group is made up of 14 members.

The group's representative is Lidia. Lidia is 41 years old. She went to school until 6th grade: her parents, she says, would not let her continue. They thought it a waste of time and money, as women were only good for being housewives - this is the reason she could not continue her studies. Lidia lives with her partner, Marco, whom she has been with for 12 years. Marco works as a delivery driver and a labourer. They have three children: 11 year old Rubí, who is at primary school, 6 year old Joshua, who is at kindergarten, and Cielo, who is 3. Lidia is seeking her loan for her business, which is grinding corn. She has had the business for 8 years. She started it because she already had experience of working in a mill, and since there were no mills near her home, she decided to invest in one. Her loan will be used to buy firewood, maize and lime for the tortilla dough. She will grind the corn and sell the dough. One of her dreams is to set up a grocery store next to the mill, and to remodel the premises, put up curtains, sand the fences and paint them. She hopes that soon she will be able to realize these goals.

Dulce Lluvia, also a member of the group, is 21 years old and studying in her first year of college. She says she left studying for 7 years, because she went to the United States - seeking the "American Dream" as she saw it. She had to return to Mexico, however, because the situation there was very difficult for immigrants. Dulce has a little girl, 11 months old. She is a single mother, and she helps her parents with the household expenses. She works baking bread: it was her mother who started the business and who, over 10 years ago, taught Dulce how to bake bread. Dulce is very happy at being granted this loan, which she will invest in firewood, sugar, flour, butter, etc. She sells her bread from door to door in different neighbourhoods, such as El Rincón, Granjeno and Zitacuaro. She says that one of her dreams is to have a proper bakery. She would like to rent premises and set up her business so she can provide better for her daughter.

The other 12 members of the group are: María Guadalupe, Elizabeth, Librada, Mariana S. M., María Esther S. M., Daniel García C., María Sara, Marco Antonio, Mireya C., Reina M., Jazmín, and Bertha. They want their loans for a variety of enterprises, including selling clothes, making tortillas, making sandals out of recycled tyres, selling fruit, selling sweets, etc.

In this group: Maria Guadalupe, Elizabeth, Librada , Mariana, Maria Esther, Daniel, Maria Sara, Lidia, Marco Antonio, Mireya, Reina , Jasmin, Bertha , Dulce Lluvia

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Rosa Oswald

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