A loan of $1,000 helped to buy sewing supplies.

María Estela's story

María is a member of the “Carlos Ibáñez del Campo” communal bank, located in the city of Valparaíso.

She’s been sewing for ten years and works split shifts from 9:00am to 12:00pm and from 4:00pm to 7:00pm, Monday through Saturday.

Her customers are schools and individuals who request her services to make or repair clothing throughout the year; during the school year (January, February, March), patriotic festivals (September), and Christmas (December). She makes school hoodies, pajamas, sheets, tablecloths, and does repairs on request during the rest of the year.

María expanded her house to set up a space to use as a sewing workshop. There she has different kinds of machines, including a straight needle machine, an over lock machine, an embroidery machine, and collar machine (a special machine used to make collars and cuffs).

She buys her merchandise in the cities of Satiago and Valparaíso, within the Independencia sector.

She will use half of the money from this loan to buy sewing supplies for the Christmas season and will use the other half to invest in supplies for making school clothing in January and February.

Her goals are to expand with her business, have a larger workshop, increased production, and to hire people to help her in her business.

She lives with her husband and her 23 year old son, who works for someone and also studies to be an electrician.

Her dreams are to prosper in her business and for her son to become a professional.

María is very happy and grateful for the support she’s gotten through “Fondo Esperanza.” It’s allowed her to invest in her business.

She says that her group is very responsible and united. Besides, the training has helped her better organize her business’ accounting.

Valparaíso is located 120 kilometers to the northeast of Santiago. It’s the regional capital and the center of power for the national congress. It’s the nation’s first port and it offers a great variety of beautiful, picturesque places, such as the home of Pablo Nerda, the great poet and winner of the Nobel Prize.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Hugo Reyes

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