A loan of $900 helped to buy pants, blouses, T-shirts and children's clothing.

María Elizabeth's story

The Buenas Amigas communal bank meets every fifteen days in Montecristi canton, known for its rich pre-colonial culture and for its handicrafts, which are recognized nationally and internationally. This is also the place of famous panama hats.

We meet Maria here. She is 23, married and has a daughter, 4, and is currently in her third month of pregnancy. Her husband has a job cleaning swimming pools.

In order to earn her own money, and in this way help with household expenses, Maria sells all kinds of clothing. Her way of doing so is by going door to door. She also sells from her house, where her customers come. She works three days a week, above all during the afternoons and evenings when her husband is at home and can care for their daughter. On certain occasions he accompanies her in her sales. She provides credit to her customers and collects every weekend. She buys her merchandise in Guayaquil when she needs to. She has been doing this work for two years and it is going very well.

Maria will use this loan to buy more merchandise, such as pants, blouses, T-shirts and children’s clothing. She is one of the founding members of the communal bank and is the treasurer. She likes the group because her fellow members are united and make their payments on time.

Her dream is to have a place with a good selection of merchandise.

In the photo she is shown with her small daughter.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Diane Chaney

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