A loan of $625 helped to buy tagua [ivory palm nuts].

Jessica Paola's story

The communal bank "Con Amor Y Fe Hacia el Desarrollo" ["With Love and Faith Toward Development"] meets every 15 days in Los Bajos in the city of Montecristi. This city is known for its cultural richness and for its handicrafts, such as the famous hats made from toquilla fibers ["Panama" hats], which are known both within the country and abroad.

In this place, we meet Jessica, who is 24 years old. She is married, and from this relationship she has two children, aged 7 and 1. The older child is in school. Her husband is an artisan.

Jessica is a teacher in a private preschool, but to help her husband, she is taking out the loans so that he can use the funds for his work. He dedicates himself to making handicrafts from tagua [ivory palm nuts]. He makes an infinite variety of products in his workshop, and he delivers the finished items to merchants who come to his workshop to take the merchandise to other cities, where they are sold to the public. Her husband has dedicated himself to this art for more than 7 years, and "thanks to God," she reports, he has not lacked for work, since he has a steady clientele thanks to the excellent quality of his work.

This loan will be used to buy tagua to create these products. Jessica has been in the communal bank for more than three years, and she likes it because of the help the members receive with the loans.

Her dreams are to have a permanent position in a primary or secondary school, and to provide the best possible support to her children.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Patricia Linderman

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