A loan of $1,000 helped to buy 'tagua' to sell.

Viviana Elizabeth's story

Every two weeks, the Virgen del Rosario community bank meets in Colorado, in Montecristi canton. This area is known for its rich pre-colonial culture and its handicrafts which are both nationally and internationally renowned. Most of the people here make buttons from 'tagua' (a vegetable alternative to ivory), make handicrafts and engage in general commercial activities.

Here we meet 27 year-old Viviana who is married and has two children aged 12 and 11. Her children are in school. Her husband is a driver.

Viviana has two business activities: handicrafts (making buttons from 'tagua') and selling 'tagua'. She has a small warehouse of this raw material which is used a lot by her neighbors and her fellow bank members. Our friend tells us that in order to buy the wood she has to travel to Picoaza, in Portoviejo canton, where she buys from farmers and salespeople who offer her a very good price. Then, from her store, she delivers to all the workshops in her area. This is a very profitable business as she has an established customer base. She has been in this business for six years and it is doing quite well.

Viviana will use this loan to buy 'tagua' for sale. She has been a member of her community bank for three loan cycles and she likes everything about it.

Viviana's dream is to own a truck for transporting her 'tagua'.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

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