A loan of $4,750 helped a member to buy materials to make a new oven to bake bread.

San Miguel Juntos Podemos Group's story

This communal bank is called "San Miguel Juntos Podemos" and comprised of 17 entrepreneurs who are involved in activities such as a bakery, food, groceries, clothing and cell phones sales. They all belong to the Puente Alto community in the city of Santiago. Elizabeth, who is pictured standing standing in the back, is dressed in a white, striped top and wearing glasses, She makes and sells bread and has been in business for a year and six months. She has a firewood oven in her house where she bakes the bread. She works every day from 2:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. She usually buys her supplies in wholesale supermarkets. With the loan she plans to buy materials to make a new bread-baking oven. She will set it up in the patio of her house. Her goal is eventually to change business and set up a cybercafé with her husband as a partner.

She lives with her husband and three children, ages 10, 7 and 2. Her dream is to see her family get ahead and lead a better lifestyle. She is motivated by the fact that she has a flexible work schedule which allows her to spend more time with her children.

Elizabeth is very grateful to Fondo Esperanze and she enjoys participating in the meetings, especially because of the fellowship and confidence she has in the group. Puento Alto is a community north of Santiago, the capital of Chile. It was founded as a small rural village at the end of the XIX Century, but due to demographic expansion is one of the most populated communities in Chile, with more than 600,000 inhabitants. It is the entranceway into the Andean foothills in the metropolitan area known as Cajón del Mapio, which has many trails, routes, rafting and other activities as well as accommodation and food services.

In this group: Elizabeth, Priscila, Edith, Ada, Felicidad, Valeria, Claudia, Felipe, Margarita, Ruth, Daniela, Susana, Ana, Sandra, Marina, Jessica, Carolina, Gladys, Danitza, Johanna, Carolina, Jenny, María, Flavia, Guillermo

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Sherry Bess

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