A loan of $3,125 helped a member to buy a bundle of used clothes.

Vecinos Y Amigos Group's story

This communal bank is called “Vecinos y Amigos” (Neighbors and Friends) and has 18 members from the city of Valparaíso. They are all in different lines of work; specifically clothing, underwear and toy sales in the market.

Gabriela is communal bank President. In the photo she’s in the middle of the group and is wearing a white blouse and black vest; the other group members are pointing at her. She has been selling used clothes and toys in the market for the last two years. She works every weekend in the market and sporadically cares for two senior citizens in a private home. She buys her merchandise in various places, whichever is the most economically convenient. She intends to use this loan to buy a bundle of clothes (a large package of used clothes).

Her goal for her business is to get a large awning to use as protection during the winter because of the rain and in summer because of the intense heat because currently Gabriela arranges her wares on a piece of cloth in the street.

She lives with her 26-year-old daughter who helps her on weekends with the clothing sales. Her personal dreams are to become economically independent and to get a locale of her own to work in.

Gabriela is very grateful for the loan granted by Fondo Esperanza because it will make it possible for her to invest in her business. Besides, she feels very comfortable in the group of entrepreneurs because they are neighbors and known to her. Because of this, the meetings are very pleasant and they support each other quite a bit. With respect to the workshops conducted, Gabriela has learned how to better distribute income earned from her business.

Valparaíso is located 120 kilometers northeast of Santiago. It is the regional capital and also the legislative seat of the country. It is the country’s main port and offers a large variety of beautiful, picturesque places like, for example, Nobel Prize winning poet Pablo Neruda’s house.

In this group: Gabriela, Marta, Lidia, Jorge, Marcela, María, Vanessa, Juan, Sandra, Juan, Debora, Rosa, René, Magdalena, Virginia, María, Marianela, Juan

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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