A loan of $675 helped to purchase tagua and other materials for making buttons.

Lidia Alexandra's story

The members of the November 4th Communal Bank meet every 15 days in Los Bajos de Montecristi, a city known for its great diversity of traditional products, such as the Panama hats that are famous within and outside of the country.

It is in this place that one can meet Sra. Lidia. She is 33 years old, married, and has three children (ages 9, 7, and 1). The two older children are in school. Her husband is a merchant. Lidia has been with the Communal Bank for six years and enjoys the convenience of requesting loans and the help they provide.

She is a homemaker who has worked for many years to earn her own income. Lidia says she worked at a factory that produces buttons made of “tagua” (a material derived from a certain palm tree that has the appearance of elephant ivory). Using the loans she received, Lidia gradually bought what she needed to start her own business. Three years ago, she started making tagua buttons on her own. Lidia started with very little and now she has two machines that are used for making her products. Every week she delivers her products to merchants who eventually sell them to exporters that ship them to other countries where finishing touches are added to the buttons. Lidia works Monday through Saturday with the help of her sister, who is paid a monthly salary.

This loan will be used to buy tagua and other materials for making buttons. Her dreams are to have a much larger business and to acquire machines for adding finishing touches to her products.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ronan Reodica

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