A loan of $950 helped to acquire straw for making hats and to purchase cosmetics to sell.

Carmen's story

The Communal Bank “Con Amor Y Fe Hacia el Desarrollo” (Toward Development with Love and Faith) meets every 15 days in Los Bajos de Montecristi, a city known for its rich culture and its handicrafts. For example, its straw hats are known within and outside of the country.

It is here that one can meet Sra. Carmen. She is 38 years old and a single mother with two children (ages 14 and 11), who attend high school and elementary school respectively. Carmen and her family live at her mother’s house. She has been with the Communal Bank for more than six years and is the group secretary. Carmen likes being a member because she feels like she is part of a family.

She is involved in many activities in addition to being a good homemaker. Carmen also works as a nurse’s assistant, a merchant, and an artisan. She says that she makes straw hats in the evenings. In addition, she spends three days a week traveling through her town selling cosmetics. Carmen says that all of her jobs have been good and that she is able to provide for the welfare of her family. After she produces the straw hats, Carmen hands them over to merchants who come to her house and take them to other places to sell. She has been in business for more than 14 years and learned this trade from her mother.

This loan will be used to buy cosmetics and straw for making hats. Her dream is to see her children become successful professionals.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ronan Reodica

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