A loan of $1,950 helped a member purchase of thread and cochineal and indigo dyes.

Citlali Group's story

This communal bank is called Citlali and it is located in the community of Hueyapan, Tétela del Volcán, in the state of Morelos, Mexico. It has six members who know each other and are neighbors. Reyna A. R. will use her loan to purchase boxes of soft drinks, Pepsi, and candy by the bag and by the kilo to stock her business. Mrs Adela B. R. will use her loan to purchase napkins, thread, yarn and blouses to sell. Mrs Altagracia Jiménez C. will purchase flowers wholesale ('nubes', 'polares', 'casinos', 'palmas' and 'clavelins' - all types of flower) to stock her business. Mrs Josefina Pérez Jiménez will purchase fabric to embroider, thread, wool etc. As well as making napkins, Mrs Margarita T. Aragón will purchase live chickens to raise and sell whole and by the kilo. Mrs Emelia A. F. will purchase oils, formulas, tea and tablets to stock and sell. The members of the group would like to say to Kiva and Fundación Realidad “thank you for helping us with the loans. We are very happy that you are giving us a hand and we are thereby able to achieve our goals”.

Mrs Margarita T. Aragón is a member of the Citlali group. She is 26 years old and studied up to the third year of high school. She has her diploma. She has one daughter called Litzy Paloma who is 7 years old and is attending elementary school. She is requesting her loan to purchase thread and cochineal and indigo dyes. She makes handicrafts; 'rebosos' (a type of scarf), 'mañanitas' (a type of shawl), jackets, backpacks, caps, scarves and cell phone cases. Her business is called “artesanías de Hueyapan” (Hueyapan handicrafts). It is a group of craftspeople from San Felipe. She joined the group 2 years ago. She learned because her mother taught her to make garments with a backstrap loom and she was interested in selling them. The first 'reboso' (scarf) which she made was with thread which her mother gave her as a present. She sold the scarf and bought more thread and saw that the sale worked. Her business is in her home in San Bartolo, Hueyapan and it has helped her to pay for food and cover her household expenses. She also has a business in the city center in a market where she sells chickens in parts or whole. Her husband helps her with the chicken sales and also helps her in her handicraft business as he knows how to make handicrafts. She considers her business to be important because it enables her to support herself. The aspect of her work she likes the most is when the garments are finished because they are pretty and if not she pulls them out and starts again.. Her business gives her a lot of pride as does creating handicrafts, above all because her mother showed her how. She remembers when she sold her first scarf she was suffering hardship and it got her out of a difficult situation. Her customers are tourists and students who buy her backpacks. The challenges which she faces are the high cost of thread and the cochineal and indigo dyes, as well as the competition as there are other people who make handicrafts. Some of her business profits go towards food and some is re-invested in purchasing material in Santa Ana, Puebla.

Margarita is planning to expand her business and buy more products of the same type but wholesale. Her dreams are to have more sales and to have a well-known and well-stocked handicrafts store. She hopes to achieve this by means of her loan and putting a lot of effort into her work. Hueyapan has a cool climate. There are a lot of trees which grow cold-weather fruit; pears, apples, 'tejocotes' (the fruit of the Mexican hawthorn tree), quinces, chokecherries and sweet tamarind. The town is near Volcán. Its church is one of the oldest and tourists come to visit it.

In this group: Reyna, Adela, Altagracia, Josefina, Margarita, Emelia

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

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