A loan of $1,100 helped to buy rice, sugar, oil, detergents, sausages and other essentials.

Mercedes Auxiliadora's story

Every two weeks, the members of the 'Luz de América' community bank meet in the city of Portoviejo, the capital of Manabí. This city has been known for many years as the 'City of the Royal Tamarind Trees'.

Here we meet Mercedes who is 64 years old. Eight months ago her husband died and she was left a widow. However, she had seven children from this beautiful relationship. All her children are now grown up and three still live with her.

Mercedes has a grocery store in her home where she sells products such as rice, sugar, oil and detergents. She works in her store every day from 6.00am to 8.00pm and sometimes until even later because, as she works from her home, she doesn't find it hard to serve her customers until later. She tells us that her store keeps her occupied and helps her to forget her loss a little. Her children help her in her work when they have time. She buys some of her products in the center of Portoviejo and some are delivered direct to her premises.

Mercedes will use this loan to better stock her store. She will buy rice, sugar, oil, detergents, sausages and other essentials. She has been a member of her community bank from the beginning. She is president of her community bank and she likes it because of the solidarity of the group. Her dreams are to have a well-sorted house and a bigger business.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

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