Los Fundadores Del Oriente Group's story

“Los Fundadores del Oriente” (The Founders of the East) Communal Bank is composed of 19 entrepreneurs, all residing in the city of Temuco. Their principal businesses are cutting and assembling clothing, and selling groceries, vegetables, firewood, frozen greens, cleaning utensils, cakes, fruits, fried potatoes, prepared salads, new clothing in the countryside, and a packaging and book shop.

Elisa is the treasurer of this group (in the back row of the photo, in the first column on the right, wearing eyeglasses). For 2 years, her business has sold groceries from the patio of her house. She works every day of the week from 8:30 am until 10:00 pm at night. She also designs and makes clothing and, in addition, transports children to school. Usually, she buys her merchandise from wholesale supermarkets and the greens come from her own house.

With this loan, she will buy supplies for clothes-making, specifically thread, zippers, buttons; and milk products for her grocery store. Her dreams have already been accomplished -- to obtain her own house, as well as an established shop for her business.

For Elisa, the loans from Fondo Esperanza have been a big help in her business, making investments possible. She is very happy with the reunions and workshops occurring at Fondo Esperanza, since they are very engaging. Also, there is much solidarity among the entrepreneurs in this bank. Concerning the training, it has been very helpful and now she can keep records of her capital, investments, and earnings.

Temuco is the capital of the Araucania region. The city is located 670 kilometers south of Santiago (Chile's capital). In the surrounding area are a series of mineral baths (Pucon, Villarrica) and the native flora and fauna is very attractive, concentrated in nearby natural parks. It's worth noting that in this region reside some 50% of the Mapuches (the native people of Chile).

In this group: Elisa, María, Sandra, Juana, Tamara, Claudia, Sandra, Sonia, Graciela, Lorena, Digna, Mirta, Carolina, Daniela, Verónica, Guillermina, Jacqueline, Cristian, Lidia

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Harold Dana Sims, PhD

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