A loan of $3,800 helped a member to buy trousers, shirts, blouses, children's clothing, sheets and comforters.

Monserrate (Montecristi) Group's story

The communal bank "Monserrate" meets every two weeks in the city of Montecristi, known for its rich pre-colonial culture and crafts that are renowned both nationally and internationally. It is the place of the famous Panama straw hat.

This group of people decided to get together three cycles ago and set up the communal bank which has helped them greatly. With the loans they have received they have improved their small business and lifestyles. They are involved in different businesses such as agriculture, general commerce, services and other activities.

One of the members of the group is Mr. Carlos, 48, who is married and has five children, four adults and a minor son who is 17 and in school. All of his children live at home. His wife is a homemaker.

He works for a compny in the city of Manta, but is also a merchant and in his free time sells all kinds of clothing, sheets and comforters. In the evenings he goes out to visit his customers to sell his products which he leaves on credit and then collects in two payments. He collects payment on the weekends. He buys merchandise in Guayaquil when necessary. He has been in business for six years and it is going well for him.

This loan will be used to buy trousers, shirts, blouses, children's clothing, sheets and comforters. This is his third cycle with the communal bank and he enjoys the benefits offered by the institution.

His dream is to buy a car.

In this group: Estrella Del Carmen, Mayra Alejandra, Augusta Elizabeth, María Belén, Paola Janneth, Cindy Marisela, Mercedes Lucia, Galinda Ines, Laura Beatriz, Lauro Eudoro, Carlos Victor, Susana Magdalena, María Veronica

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Sherry Bess

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