A loan of $3,250 helped a member perfumes, clothing and children's pools and floats.

Las Abejitas Group's story

Las Abejitas (The Little Bees) communal bank is made up of 19 entrepreneurs. It is located in the town of San Bernardo. Members’ businesses are based mostly in clothing, toy, fast food and ice cream sales.
María is the president of this group. She is in the 2nd row in the picture, seated in the 1st spot from left to right. She has a cane in her hand because she has suffered for many years from hemiplegia in the left half of her body. She has sold second-hand and new clothing, stationary and sewing supplies and hand towels for the past 7 years.
She sells her items at a market close to her house. She works there four days a week, including weekends. She moves her merchandise alone in a car. The rest of the week she also sells from home. With this loan she will buy perfumes, lycra blouses and children’s pools and floats.
In addition to the income from her sales, María receives a small pension and payment for renting 2 rooms in the back of her house.
Her dream is to have a stationary and embroidery shop in her home.
María is very grateful to Fondo Esperanza for the help they have given her through these loans. She feels that she has opportunities to rise up. She thanks them for the faith they have shown in her through this.
San Bernardo is a city located 18 km. south of the main square of Santiago (the capital of Chile) using a straight line. It is know as the capital of folklore culture; every year in January they have the “International Folklore Festival”. This is an event where the country’s roots come together. Musical groups from all over South America meet. There is also a “Traditional Crafts Fair”. Artisans from Chile and other nearby countries participate. Later, in April, the “One Thousand April Cuecas” event takes place. The whole town is made to dance cueca (a traditional Chilean dance) during the event.

In this group: María, Ana, Nataly, María, Inés, Janet, María, Cecilia, Gipsi, Margarita, Alicia, Mirta, Ximena, Angela, Vilma, Silvana, Jacqueline, Meliza, Francisca

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Kelly Lange

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