A loan of $3,325 helped a member to buy sandpaper, paint, wool, paint thinner, Betumen of Judea (used to produce a patina effect) and get an electric tool repaired that she uses in her crafts.

Algarrobo Group's story

This communal bank, called Algarrobo, is made of 22 members, who work in diverse fields, principally artisan crafts, shoe-making, selling plants and making curtains. They all live in the city of Valparaíso.

Bernardita, who is bent down in the photo and wearing an orange kerchief, works doing all types of crafts, including re-upholstery, pottery, work in leather, and work in wood. She also works on a loom and often uses recycled materials. She has had the workshop where she does her work for 9 years and they call it the "multiple" workshop because she of the diversity of artwork that she produces. To make her crafts, Bernardita buys wood at low prices, but most of her other heavy materials are recycled.

She takes commissions but also creates her own innovative work like wooden signs. With the loan, she will buy sandpaper, paint, wool, paint thinner, Betumen of Judea (used to create a patina effect) and will repair an electric tool that she uses in her artwork.

Her goals are to continue developing classes and workshops to keep her craft skills up to date. Her dreams are also to share and transmit to the other members of the communal bank everything she has learned about crafts. She wants to continue being an artist and to continue working. Bernardita completed free classes in weaving with the Mapuche (indigenous people of Chile). She is very grateful for the opportunity that Fondo Esperanza has given her, not just for the loans but also for the values that Fondo Esperanza promotes, like solidarity and trust.

Valparaíso is located 120 kilometers northeast of Santiago. It is the regional capital and also the headquarters of the country's legislature. It is Chile's first port and offers a great variety of beautiful and picturesque places, like the home of Pablo Neruda, winner of the Noble Prize for his poetry.

In this group: Bernardita, Rosa, Jennifer, Victoria, Gloria, Ana, Soledad, Cristobalina, María, Daniela, Sebastián, Gladys, Madelaine, Raquel, Sergio, Jenny, Patricio, Romy, Verónica, Fabiola, María, Ana María

Translated from Spanish

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