A loan of $3,975 helped a member to buy chicken-feed, staple foods, soft drinks, and other items.


La Merced (Cuenca) Group's story

The La Merced communal bank is made up of 10 women who live in the parish of Santa Ana. Their most important activities are in agriculture, keeping livestock and small orchards. What they produce is to sustain themselves and thier families, with a little left over to sell in the city of Cuenca. Others who live there go each morning to work in Cuenca and return home in the evenings. Our members are women who go to work each day with a smile on their lips and who each morning see an opportunity to improve their lot and offer their children a better future. Señora María M. lives in the parish of Santa Ana. This is her 9th loan with the communal bank, and her household has benefited greatly from the loans. She has worked in domestic service for 25 years, Monday to Friday from 8am till 6pm. At home she raises chickens - a business she started thanks to her first loan with the communal bank. Doña María, age 49, is single and has 2 children, aged 30 and 28, who are both married. One of her children lives with her in the house they built together. The money she borrows will be invested in feed for her chickens. Her dream is to stay in good health and be able to continue working. Señora Blanca A. lives in the parish of del Valle. She is 46 ears old, has been divorced for 18 years, and has 4 children, aged 29, 27, 24 and 22. Her eldest son is married and living independently, her second son lives at home and is setting up his own business, and her 2 younger children work and help her with the household expenses. She rents, rather than owns her own house. Doña Blanca works in her own small restaurant, which she has had for one year. She works every day Monday to Friday from 7am until 3pm, and her free time is taken up making handicrafts or making up orders from friends and acquaintances. This is her first loan from the communal bank and she is going to invest it in products for her restaurant, such as staple ingredients and soft drinks. Her dream is to own her own home.

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

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Rosa Oswald


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