A loan of $950 helped to buy tyical costumes, specifically Huaso, Chilote, Pasuense, and others.

María Gabriela's story

María Gabriela is a member of the “Amaican” Communal Bank in the commune of Pudahuel, city of Santiago.

She operates a costume business from her home and charges a per day rental fee. She has been providing this service for five years. She has 700 costumes for children and adults. She buys them in the barrio of Patronato and by bundle from distributors. She also makes costumes.

María Gabriela has marketed her business on the internet, which has made it possible to increase her customer base. With the loan, she will buy typical costumes, specifically Huasco, Chilate (the native people of Chiloé Island), Pascuense (the native people of Easter Island) and others. Her goals are to continue acquiring a wide variety of costumes in order to provide better service to her customers.

María Gabriela lives with her parents and three brothers who also help her take care of her business when she is not home. Her dream is to complete her university degree in dental laboratory technology. She continues with her business mainly because the income pays for her college studies and the flexibility of the schedule gives her time to study.

She is very happy and grateful for the loan provided by Fondo Esperanza, since it will allow her to invest in her business and possibly generate more profits. Maria Gabriela feels very comfortable with the communal bank as interpersonal relationships are very good and the group works very well together. The training had been very good and has helped her organize her business.

Pudahuel is a commune in the western sector of Santiago (capital of Chile), Metropolitan region. It is a Mapudungun word (of the Mapuche language) that translates as “place where the waters meet” or “place of puddles” because it has a diverse network of rivers comprised of the Mapocho River and the Lampa, Carén, and Las Cruces estuaries. Their soils are favored for agricultural production because of the existence of abundant groundwater.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Eleanor Francoletti-Putz

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