A loan of $4,200 helped a member to pay for schooling / To buy animal feed and to finish construction work.

Mujeres En Progreso (Cuenca) Group's story

The Mujeres en Progreso communal bank consists of 12 women who live in different parts of the city of Cuenca. The city is known for its architectural beauty, its four rivers that run through the city, and its people, who preserve its culture and traditions. Our members are women who are always smiling in spite of their hardships, and with their work they fight each day to bring a better life to their families.

Miss María Méndez lives in the Totoracocha section of Cuenca. This is her second loan with the communal bank. She was invited to join by her cousin, and since then she has become very good friends with all the members. She is studying at the university, and right now she is doing an internship in order to obtain her degree. Also, in her free time, for the past two and a half years she has sold Avon cosmetics to her university classmates. María is 24 years old and is single, but she has a one-and-a-half-year old daughter. She lives with her parents. Her mother is a merchant and her father is outside the country, having migrated in search of better work opportunities. The money from her new loan will go toward the cost of her studies. Her goal is to specialize in surgery.

Mrs. Carmen Álvarez lives in the parish of Santa Ana. She is 49 years old and married with 4 children, who are 29, 25, 22, and 9 years old. Her two oldest children are married and live independently. Her third child, a daughter, is a student at the university, and her youngest, a son, is at school. Her husband works as a private guard. With their shared work and mutual effort they have been able to build their own house.

For nine years, Carmen has been a custodian at a school, where they give her a house to live in away from her own home. She works all day there and has time to raise pigs. She has been a member of the communal bank for two years, and the loans have helped her to buy feed for the animals. This new loan will go toward the purchase of feed and also to buy materials to finish her house. Her goal is to have a car.

In this group: María Esperanza, María José, Mayra Priscila*, María Guadalupe, Elsa Beatriz, Carmen Gerardina, Gloria Alexandra, Mariana De Jesús, María José, Blanca Elena, Mayra Alexandra, Sonia Soledad
*not pictured

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Karen Monat

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