A loan of $2,275 helped a member to augment working capital.

El Arbolito (The Little Tree) Group's story

Carmen, age 44, is married and has three children; one of them is still in her care, but the other two are already grown and independent. Carmen is the president of the communal bank "El Arbolito" (The Little Tree) -- a name that represents the gradual growth that the members feel they experience within their group, just like a tiny seed that eventually grows into a big tree.

For over eight years, Carmen has been in the business of buying and selling second-hand items -- a venture that provides her with a good level of income and has allowed her to outfit her house and expand it to meet her family's needs. Prior to starting in this business, Carmen looked for odd jobs such as house-cleaning or doing laundry, but her husband helped her realize that they could earn more if they worked together. This is why Carmen decided to fully dedicate herself to this venture, which also allows her to strengthen her ties with her husband.

Among Carmen's near-term goals is the plan to purchase a Mototaxi (a motorcycle with a cabin for carrying passengers) to provide additional work for her husband; she would also like to expand her business and specifically to have a storage area where should could keep her excess inventory.

In this group: Melania Esperanza, Maria Teresa, Carmen Rosa, Roxana, Silvia Meril, Evelina, Bilha, Eresvita, Lili, Emely Tomasa

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Andrei Vazhnov

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