A loan of $550 helped to purchase rice, potatoes, pork skins, and other supplies for preparing her dishes.

María Mercedes's story

Sra. Maria is a member of the Communal Bank “Feria Libre” (Open Fair). She lives in the San Martín neighborhood in the city of Cuenca. This city is known for the richness of its historical center, its natural beauty, and the variety of cuisines that captivate the palates of locals and foreigners alike. The people are extremely friendly and cordial.

Doña Maria is 69 years old, separated from her spouse, and has eleven children. Eight of them are married and independent, while the other three are single, working, and helping her financially. Through work and sacrifice, Maria was able to build her own home.

Doña Maria sells a traditional dish called “papas con cuero” (potatoes with pork skins). She works Monday through Saturday selling her product in central Cuenca. In order to prepare this dish, she wakes up at 4am and continues to work until she finishes selling her product. At home, she raises guinea pigs and chickens to sell whenever there is a financial need. While she is at home, Maria also manages a small store that she opened a year and a half ago.

Maria has been with the Communal Bank for twelve years and the loans have been a great benefit to her businesses. This new loan will be invested in the purchase of a quintal of rice (1 quintal = 46kg), potatoes, pork skins, and other products that are needed to prepare her dishes.

Her dream is to have a small structure on her property where she can move her store and expand it.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ronan Reodica

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