A loan of $900 helped to buy seasonal fruit such as watermelons, kiwis, mandarin oranges, apples, grapes and melons.


María's story

María is a member of the communal bank "Oportunidad" which belongs to the municipality of Padre de las Casas, in the city of Temuco. She sells fruit, groceries, drinks in leased premises. She has been running her business for 7 years and works Monday through Saturday. She buys her merchandise from wholesale supermarkets, distibutors and suppliers and her fruit in the street market. With the loan she will buy seasonal fruit such as watermelons, kiwis, mandarin oranges, apples, grapes and melons. Her business goals are to establish the store in her own house as the rent she pays limits her ability to invest in more merchandise and new equipment. She says that the seasons with the highest demand are spring and summer as she sells seasonal fruit. Her husband and child help her serve customers for which she feels supported. In addition she will begin a relaxation exercise class to destress from her household activities.

María lives with her husband and 3 children of 22, 20 and 18 years of age, who study and work. Her dream is to buy her own house and to this end she has already applied for a housing subsidy as she is a member of a housing committee. She is very happy and grateful for the opportunity the Fondo has extended her, giving her hope to invest in her business. She feels also very comfortable with her group as they are very unitied and responsible. With regard to the training, it has served to improve her business administration and accounting as she has implemented new strategies.
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Padre Las Casas is a municipality in the south of Chile near the city of Temuco in the region of Araucania. It was given this name in honour of the Spanish priest Bartolomé de Las Casas who was a defender of the indigenous people during the conquest of America. The community has a large Mapuche population. Its economy is based on the agricultural industry and commercial services.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Maria Blyth



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