A loan of $3,150 helped a member to buy large containers of oil, paper bags, flour, pasta and drinks.

Los Vecinos Group's story

This communal bank is called Los Vecinos [Neighbors] and has 15 entrepreneurs working in various areas of trade, among which are selling clothing, preparation of snacks, pastries, manicures, pedicures, relaxation, selling groceries, ice cream, cheeses and sausages. All of them live in the district of Recoleta in Santiago.

Jennifer, a member of the communal bank, can be found in the photo in the 3rd row (from the back), 2nd from the left, with light brown hair and wearing a fuchsia sweater. She prepares and sells fast food, especially pizzas, French fries, pies, sopaipillas [fried dough], tea and coffee. Her sales take place at home, outside her house.

She has been working in this field for 10 years and 2 years ago she began selling from her own home. She buys her supplies in La Vega (for fair trade) once a week. She comments that business is going very well. Jennifer works Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. With this loan she will buy large containers of oil, paper bags, flour, pasta and drinks. Her goal is to be more established and have a kiosk outside her house.

Jennifer lives with her husband, her 2 daughters who are 7 and 3 years old, together with her father, brother, and sister-in-law.

Her dream is to become a nurse. She is very happy and grateful for the loans and services provided by Fondo Esperanza [Hope Fund]. This group in which she participates is united and committed.

Recoleta is one of the 34 districts of Santiago (capital of Chile) and is located in the north-central metropolitan area of Santiago. It has an active trade highlighted by the commercial village of Patronato, originally mostly Arab traders, but today mostly Koreans.

In this group: Jennifer, Adalberta, Beatriz, Silvia, Melissa, Keomara, Patricia, Claudia, Margarita, Patricia, Eugenia, Sergio, Claudia, Mauricio, Rodrigo

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Gail LeGrand

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