A loan of $775 helped to buy packs of clothing for resale.

María's story

Maria is part of the “Visión al Futuro” communal bank in the city of Coronel. She sells second hand clothing at the fair all day on Fridays. Her sales vary depending on the merchandise she has to offer on a given day.

María has been doing this for eight years and began because her daughter had gotten sick with pancreatic cystic fibrosis. Starting from scratch was difficult and involved many sacrifices because she also had to pay for her daughter’s medicines. She started out selling raffle tickets, but it didn’t bring in enough money, so she began selling second-hand clothing out of her home and began saving up to buy packs of clothing. Now she buys her merchandise, packs of clothing, in Santiago.

She will use the money from this loan to buy 15 packs, specifically pants, undergarments, children’s and house clothes.
Her goals are to have a local establishment to be able to offer and sell her merchandise (clothing), and to also have a vehicle that will allow her to transport the clothing to different parts of the city, and be able to sell to those who do not have their own transportation.
María lives with her husband and three children, ages 20, 17, and 15, and also cares for one of her nephews who is eight years old. Her children help her to transport the clothing to the fair, set up the stall and iron the clothes from the packs.

Her motivations to continue and to succeed in her business are the help she gets from her family, especially her children.
María is very happy and grateful to Fondo Ezperanza and affirms that without their support she would not have been able to continue with her business. She also actively participates in the communal bank meetings, has been able to make ties off friendship with the group, and has been able to put her new knowledge to work in her business.

Coronel is a community located in southern Chile, near Concepción, in the Bíobío region. Its economy is based on forestry product extraction and agriculture. It also has an important coal mining tradition, but the “Chiflón Puchoco mine is no longer active and has been converted into a museum.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Hugo Reyes

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