A loan of $775 helped to buy pants, t-shirts, blouses and children's clothes.

Karen Lisbeth's story

Every two weeks, the members of the '5 de Septiembre' community bank meet in La Paz neighborhood, in the city of Portoviejo. This city has been known since colonial times as 'The City of the Royal Tamarind Trees'.

Here we meet 22 year-old Karen who lives with her common-law husband and has two children aged 1 year and 8 months. Her husband is a salesman. Karen is studying her second semester of an executive secretarial course at the Universidad Técnica de Manabí.

Karen is a young mother who sells brand clothing through catalogs in order to help her husband with their household expenses. She makes her sales door to door and works every day whenever she has free time. She makes the most of the evenings when she sells to her fellow university students. Karen works to order, leaves her products on credit and collects payment every week. She tells us that she loves selling. She receives her merchandise from distributors in the city center.

Karen has been in this business for three years and she has done very well. She will use this loan to buy more merchandise such as pants, blouses, t-shirts and children's clothes. She has been a member of her community bank for nine loan cycles and tells us that her loans have got her out of many tight spots. For this reason, she is grateful to the institution. Her dreams are to finish her studies and own her own business.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

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