A loan of $3,800 helped a member to buy fish and seafood.

El Mirador Group's story

Mirsa is a member of the "El Mirador" community bank. The bank has 20 female members who all live in the town of Calbuco. In the photo, Mirsa is in the third row, on the right, wearing a white top. She sells fish, seafood and vegetables from her home. She makes her sales wholesale and her frequent customers are market traders and restaurants. She also makes retail sales from her home.

Mirsa has had her business for 2 years. Three times a week she travels to Puerto Montt (a town located one hour from Calbuco) to buy her merchandise. On these days she gets up at 4.00am. Mirsa works alone in her business but when she has a lot of orders she hires up to 2 other people to help her. She will use her loan to buy fish and seafood.

Mirsa lives with her husband, who works outside the city; her youngest daughter, who is studying computer engineering; and her grandson (that daughter's son). Mirsa's dream is to own an established fish and seafood store. She is very grateful for the loans that she receives from Fondo Esperanza since they have been a great help in her business. She also enjoys the friendship that she has found in her group.

Calbuco municipality is located in the south of Chile, in Los Lagos region. The name 'Calbuco' comes from Mapudungun (Mapuche language) and it means 'blue waters'. It is an archipelago made up of 12 islands. The local economy is mainly based around extracting products from the sea. There are currently a number of canning factories and salmon, oyster and mussel farms.

In this group: Mirsa, Mónica, Marisol, Margoth, Carolina, Elizabeth, Jacqueline, Andrea, Victoria, Ana, María, Gladis, Iris, María, Luz, Soraya, Elizabeth, Adriana, Sandra, Marcia

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

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