A loan of $4,425 helped a member to buy sewing supplies.

El Reflejo Group's story

There are eighteen members of El Refejo Community Bank in the town of Linares. They have a variety of jobs such as selling underwear, perfume, jewelry, fish, and sewing.

At the back of the group in the photograph is Carmen with the light brown hair, lilac-coloured t-shirt, black sweater, and pink complexion. She makes all types of clothing and works every day of the week in the afternoons. Her workshop is located inside her house. Most of her customers are private individuals who primarily come to her to have alterations made to their clothes. She buys her supplies in Santiago where people with businesses can get lower prices, and it’s also more convenient too. She can get her sewing machines mended there also.

With this loan Carmen plans to buy fabric and thread so she can have more supplies on hand. Her goal one day is to have a store where she can sell the items she makes. Currently she is making bedding (sheets and pillow cases) which have to be done by hand so she only does this by special order. She would like to have schools and businesses as customers.

Carmen lives with her two children aged 13 and 22 and her sister. Her younger son would like to have his own business so he helps Carmen with the paperwork, deliveries of clothing to customers, and buying supplies.

She is very grateful for the loan from Kiva partner Fondo Esperanza as it has given her the opportunity to get her business going on a better footing. The group meetings are enjoyable as the members share experiences and information--everyone communicates with and supports each other.

Linares is an important town in the Maule region located in the centre of the country. Agriculture is very important, and grapes for export are of increasing importance. Cereal crops (rice, wheat, maize, oats) and vegetables (beets, cabbage, lettuce, chard) and fruit grow well. Linares is the main producer of rice in Chile with 78% of national production coming from this province, especially from the community of Parral.

In this group: Carmen , Paola, María, Berta, Haydee, Nelly, Nataly, Mercedes , Marcela , Carmen , Demofilia, Priscila, Roxana, María, Herminda, Verónica, Alejandra, Cristian

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Jane A

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