A loan of $550 helped buying shampoo, hair dyes, creams, and tools for her salon, and also paying the costs for her graduation thesis.

Gema Monserrate's story

In the canton of Rocafuerte, the members of the "Mujeres Trabajadoras" ["Hard-Working Women"] communal bank meet every two weeks. This area is known for the delicious sweets prepared by the local people which are recognized throughout the country.

Gema is 20 years old and married. With her husband she has a beautiful little girl only 5 months old, which is her greatest gift, as she reports. Her husband is an active member of the military. She is studying cosmetology at an institute in the city of Manta, and this year she is finishing her studies.

She has a beauty salon where her customers come for many personal beauty treatments. She offers haircuts, hair styling, hair coloring, and makeup. She works every day from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m.; she works only in the evenings because she has to go to her classes in the mornings. She also sells beauty products and treatments.

This loan is to buy shampoo, hair dyes, and creams as well as tools that she still needs in her salon, and also to pay for her thesis. It is her first loan cycle in the communal bank, and she likes it because of the speed with which she obtained the loan. Her dreams are to finish her studies and open a large spa.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Patricia Linderman

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