A loan of $1,100 helped to buy perfumes, creams, cosmetics and shoes.

María Josefina's story

The Banco Comunal 21 De Noviembre (November 21 Communal Bank) meets every fortnight in the Montecristi Canton, a place renowned for its rich pre-colonial culture and for its arts and crafts, celebrated both at national and international level. It is also the homeland of the famous Toquilla straw hats.

Meet María, a founding member of the communal bank who is also its Payment Supervisor. She likes being a member of her communal bank because it is easy to obtain loans and for the benefits provided by the institution. She is 42 years old and she is separated from her husband, with whom she has had 3 children: two are adults and economically independents, one is 10 years old and goes to school.

She is a professor in a school of her community, but at the same time she engages in trade selling shoes, Avon and Oriflame products (both Avon and Oriflame produce and sell beauty products, cosmetics, perfumes and accessories for women). She works in the school every morning and at night she visits her customers to offer them her products. She told us that she also sells in her school, as she has customers among her colleagues and the students' mothers. She sells her products on credit and collects the cash every week-end. She goes to Quito to buy the shoes, while the beauty products are delivered to her at home. She has been engaging in this activity for four years and it is going very well for her.

The loan she is requesting will be used to buy perfumes, creams, cosmetics and shoes.

She dreams of running a big shop.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Emanuela Villa

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