A loan of $3,300 helped a member to buy fertilizer and chickens.

La Gran Amistad (Cuenca) Group's story

The Gran Amistad (Great Friendship) communal bank is made up of 9 women and 2 men who, with their different daily activities, help the economic stability of their homes and in this way they provide for themselves a better future. The majority of the members of the communal bank live in the Cumbe parish, which is known for its natural beauty. Most of its habitants make a living in the agricultural sector, which is for their own consumption and for raising animals. Many leave the city to work in different activities.

Mrs. Rosa M. lives in the Salado community in the Valley parish, but she attends the meetings of the Cumbe parish, as a friend of hers invited her to be part of this group. This is the second loan that she has taken out as part of the communal bank. This group member makes a living in agriculture. She cultivates vegetables and garden produce in land that has been loaned to her to cultivate it. She sells all of her products on Saturdays at a market in the city. She started this business 7 years ago. In her free time she also makes a living sewing ponchos, wallets, etc. She sells them to the members of the communal bank and to her friends. Rosa is 33 years old, married and has 5 children, ages 14, 12, 9, 7, and 6. The oldest child studies in high school and the other four children study in a city school. Her husband is a bricklayer. They don’t have their own house. Where they live, they are caring for another’s house.

The loan money will be used to purchase fertilizer for the fields. Her goal is to close off the land plot with a wire fence so that the neighbors’ animals don’t damage her crops.

Miss Graciela L. lives in the Cumbe parish, but she is originally from Cantón Sigsig. She lives in her cousin’s house, but independently. She is single and 18 years old. This is the first loan that she is taking out with the communal bank and she was invited by her cousin to form part of this group of women.

Miss Graciela works at the counter of a bakery, and woks from 8 in the morning until 8 at night. She started this job two years ago, and works Monday through Sunday.

With the money from her loan she is going to start a business raising chickens. Her dream is to launch her own business and to eventually have an electrical appliances store.

In this group: Sara Ines, Nelly Cecilia, Graciela Francisca, María Cecilia, Carlos Vinicio, Digna Amelia, Rosa Amelia, Rosa Blanca, Julia Oliva, Rufino Esnesto, María Dolores

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Kimberly Friedland

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