A loan of $3,550 helped a member to buy sacks of potatoes, oil by the liter, ketchup, mayonnaise, paper bags, hot dog containers, napkins and other things.

La Unión Hace La Fuerza Group's story

This Communal Bank is called "La Unión hace la Fuerza” ("Union Makes Strength"). It is made up of 17 entrepreneurs who work in different fields, including a greengrocers, a variety store, a bicycle workshop, selling locksmith tools, construction materials and selling clothes. They are all part of the Colina community in the city of Santiago.

Clara is a member of the Communal Bank group. In the photo, she's standing in the second row, third from the left, wearing an apple-green sweater. Her hair is light-brown and pulled back.

She works preparing and selling fast food, which she has been doing for the last seven years. She comments that she really enjoys her business. She currently has a cart which is located at her home, which is where she sells sandwiches, homemade bread, french fries, sopaipillas (fried pastries) and hot dogs. She works evenings, Monday through Friday. She is very happy, and has many customers which has allowed things to go well for her.

She buys her supplies at the "vega" (the market for retailers). With the loan, she will buy sacks of potatoes, oil by the liter, ketchup, mayonnaise, paper bags, hot-dog containers, napkins, and other things.

Her goals for her business are to have an established premises, where she can tend to her customers and they can eat on-site. She would put it in the back garden of her home. She comments that the only things she needs now is to build the small location, as she already has a potato-chopper and a full industrial oven.

Clara lives with her husband and her 23 year old son, who has a disability.

Her dreams are to have her own premises, so as to earn better income and with this be able to provide her family with a better quality of life.

Clara is very happy with and grateful for the services that are provided by Fondo Esperanza. This support has been fundamental for her, as has been the meetings of the Communal Bank group.

Colina is a community in the metropolitan region (which is Santiago, Chile's capital), located in the north of the region. It is currently the center of some important investments, mainly in the agro-industrial area, thanks to the presence of large and important companies which bring a large number of jobs to the community. It is also an area of pleasant sub-divisions, which have contributed to the considerable growth in the number of inhabitants. It also has things suitable for tourists, such as spas, fun in the Red Stone Lake, and mountain-climbing.

In this group: Clara, Rudencindo, Barbara, Ide, Patricia, Patricia, Mireya, Carmen, David, Bernardo, Gabriela, Moises, Luis, Ana, Carolina, Rose Marie, Patricia

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Arabella Pollack

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