A loan of $1,000 helped to buy underwear, costume jewelry, cream and perfume.

Carmen Odila's story

Every two weeks the members of 'Las Orquideas' (The Orchids) community bank meet in the Los Tamarindos neighborhood of the city of Portoviejo, capital of Manabi. This city has been known for many years as 'The City of the Royal Tamarind Trees'.

Carmen has been a member of this community bank for 15 years. She likes the bank for the additional benefits that its members receive from the institution and because of the friends that she has made during her time as a member. Carmen is 57 years old, married and has 5 children who are all now grown up and living independently. Her husband is a truck driver.

Carmen sells products from catalogs. She sells Avon, Esika and Yanbal products (beauty products, cosmetics, perfumes and ladies' accessories). She also sells Leonisa-brand ladies' underwear. She works every day from 8.30am to 5.00pm. She makes her sales door to door and she travels to the town of Flavio Alfaro to make her sales. She leaves her goods on credit and collects payment for them every week. She says that she loves to sell and that she doesn't feel happy unless she is carrying out a business activity.

Carmen will use this loan to buy more merchandise such as underwear, costume jewelry, creams and perfumes. Her dream is to own her own store in her home as time is passing and she feels more tired every day.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

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