A loan of $3,500 helped a member to buy a large amount of firewood that will last her for one to two months.

Semillitas De Lautaro Group's story

This Communal Bank is called "Semillitas de Lautaro". It is made up of 20 entrepreneurs who work in different fields including selling coal, selling firewood, weaving, selling sweets, selling used clothes, selling perfumes, and selling new clothes, amongst other things. All of them come from the city of Temuco.

Leonor is a member of the Communal Bank, who is in the front row of the group photo. She is the first one going from right to left, is wearing a pink sweatshirt and is also holding a Fondo Esperanza sign. She works selling firewood by the sack, which she has been doing for four years. She buys her merchandise in places that have a good amount of firewood and reasonable prices. Then she pays for freight to transport it to her home. After purchasing the firewood, she chops it and distributes it into sacks, in order to later offer it for sale and sell it. Her customers come to her home to make their purchases, and she has a sufficient client base.

With the loan, she will buy a large quantity of firewood that will last her for one to two months.

Her goals are to have a large warehouse from where she can offer a large quantity of firewood, so that the wood does not rot.

She lives with her husband and three children aged 13, 6, and 4, who all attend school. Her dreams are to become a micro-enterprise, and that her children become professionals. Her motivation for continuing in her business is to pay for higher education for her children.

Leonor is very happy and grateful for the loan offered by Fondo Esperanza. In addition, she say that she feels comfortable at the Communal Bank meetings, thanks to the companionship, trust, commitment and respect of the group.

Temuco is the capital of the Araucanía region. The city is located 670 kilometers south of Santiago (the capital of Chile). There are a number of lake resorts in the surrounding area, and a lot of very striking flora and fauna which are concentrated in the nearby national parks. It is worth mentioning that 50% of the Mapuches, an indigenous people from our country, live in this region.

In this group: Leonor, María Teresa, Vitalina, Nayade, Pilar, Sarai, Angelica, Paola, Elsa, Erika, Myriam, Erika, Juana, Hector, Gonzalo, Miriam, Jessica, Ana, Joceline, Carolina

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Arabella Pollack

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