A loan of $900 helped to buy fish, shrimp, prawns, shellfish, crabs, etc.

Gema Asunción's story

Every two weeks, the 'Mujeres de Lucha' community bank meets in Picoaza parish, in the city of Portoviejo. This area is known for being very commercial. It is also noted for its traditional San Pedro and San Pablo fiestas and the cheerfulness of its residents.

Here we meet 19 year-old Gema who is single and in her first semester at the Universidad Técnica de Manabí. She would like to be an executive assistant.

Gema lives with her parents. She has been a member of her community bank for two loan cycles and she likes it because the loans enable her to support herself in her studies.

Gema and her dad own a business selling seafood from a stall in Picoaza market. They sell a wide variety of seafood such as fish, prawns, shrimp, shellfish, crabs, etc. They work every day, from 6.00am to 3.00pm. Gema's dad buys their products very early every morning in the city of Manta as he is able to acquire everything his customers need there. Gema has been working in partnership with her dad for two years but she has been working in the business for 15 years.

Gema will use this loan to buy fish, shrimp, prawns, shellfish, crabs and other varieties of seafood. Her dreams are to finish her studies and become a professional.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

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