A loan helped a member to buy shower curtains at wholesale.

Las Abejitas Y El Zángano Group's story

This communal bank is called “Las Abejitas y el Zángano” (The Little Bees and the Drone) and is made up of 17 entrepreneurs who are in a variety of lines of work. Among them are: clothes sales, bakery, pastry making and dress designing and dress making. All of them are from the San Bernardo Commune in the city of Santiago.

Doris is communal bank President and in the photo she’s seated in the second row, first position from left to right, with short, wavy hair. She sells seasonal clothing. During this winter she’s focused on selling fleece pajamas (warm, cozy fabric) and in summer she sells t-shirts. Doris has quite a bit of experience in this line of work because she’s been working for 20 years. She buys her merchandise from suppliers in downtown Santiago and sells door to door according to orders placed by her customers and this way she can distribute her time more flexibly. She currently has 90 customers. She will use the loan to buy shower curtains at wholesale. Her business goal is to set up a stand at a free market to sell her merchandise from a fixed locale.

Doris lives with her husband, two daughters and her mother. Her daughters go to university which is one of the motivators for her to stay in business. Her dream on a personal level is to travel and get to know other cities.

She is very happy and grateful for the loan from Fondo Esperanza because it’s provided new and better life opportunities. With respect to the group, she feels very comfortable and confident. She comments that despite her vast experience in this line of work she always learns something new in the training sessions conducted at the communal bank meetings.

San Bernardo is a city located 18km away in a straight line from Santiago’s (Capital of Chile) main square. It’s known as the Capital of Folklore because in January of every year the International Folklore Festival takes place, an event in which the country’s roots meet and musical groups from throughout South America come together. The Traditional Crafts Fair takes place as well where artisans from both Chile and from nearby countries participate. In April, an event called “Abril Cuecas Mil” takes place that consists in putting the entire commune to dance Cueca (traditional Chilean dance).

In this group: Doris, Evelyn, Sylvia, Marta, Emilia, Sandra, Carmen Goria, Natalia, María Inés, Flor, Karen, Rosa, Cyntia, Jessica, Nicole, Marjorie, Jennifer

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz.

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