A loan of $3,200 helped a member to buy products for stocking her store, such as drinks purchased at wholesale.

Vecinas Y Amigas Group's story

This communal bank is called, "Vecinas y Amigas" (Neighbors and Friends), and is made up of 16 entrepreneurs who work in different sectors, which include hairdressing and a bakery. All of them live in the Colina commune, in the city of Santiago.

Veronica is a member of the communal bank. She appears in the photo, standing in the first row, to one side, and is the first person going from right to left. She is wearing black, and has light brown hair. She has bangs, and is holding a purse and a folder in her hands.

Veronica has had a business preparing fast food for three years. She prepares fried potatoes, pizzas, and completos (hot dog with avocado, tomato, and sauces). Her stand is located near her home, which is quite convenient for her, as she prepares her products at home to later sell them at the stand.

She works every day of the week from 7:00 in the evening to 2:00 in the morning. She buys her merchandise mainly in wholesale supermarkets. With the loan she will buy products for stocking her business, such as drinks purchased at wholesale.

Her goal for her business is to expand her food stand to offer greater comfort to her customers. In addition, she plans to buy a vehicle that will allow her to transport her merchandise when she does her shopping, as now she has to pay for delivery, or do her shopping while walking, a situation that is a hardship for Veronica, because she is very self-sacrificing.

She lives with her husband, her two children ages 15 and 10, and a brother. Her dream on the personal level, is to go on a vacation with her family.

Veronica is very happy and grateful for the opportunity and trust that Fondo Esperanza has given to the the group, as the loan will allow her to invest in her business. She says that the group is very good, and that they also share similar interests.

Colina is a commune (municipality) in the Greater Santiago Metropolitan Region (Santiago is the capital of Chile), and is located to the north of the city. Currently it is the focus of significant investment, mainly in the agroindustrial sector, due to the establishment of large and important companies, that provide a great number of jobs to the community.

It is also an area of new subdivisions, which has contributed to a considerable increase in the population. It also has tourist attractions, such as hot springs, recreational activities at Laguna Piedra Roja, and mountain-climbing.

In this group: Verónica, Ana María, María Luisa, Paula, Gloria, Ximena, Irene, Luz, María, Diana, Patricia, Margarita, Ively, Marinka, Paola, Cristina

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Jeff Goldie

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