A loan helped a member to buy construction materials to renovate her stall, and to buy merchandise.

Rayen Mapu Group's story

This communal bank is called "Rayen Mapu" and is comprised of 18 entrepreneurs who are active in different businesses such as plant sales, cake preparation, crafts, fish sales, grocery sales and other businesses. They all live in the city of Padre de las Casas.

Cristina is the president of the communal bank group. She is seated in the front row, second from the left in a brown and white striped blouse. She has short, dark hair and a black bag on her lap.

She makes and sells food, especially "empanadas" (meat pies), and has been in business for five years. She has a stall where she sells, in addition to the empanadas, "sopaipillas" (fried wheat pastry), tea, coffee, beverages and sweets. Her stall is located near her house inside the mapuche community where she lives. She works every Thursday from 6:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The rest of the week she works as a street vendor wherever they need her products.

On holidays she buys her merchandise in supermarkets. She plans to use the loan to buy construction materials to renovate her stall, and also to buy merchandise for her business.

Cristina lives with her husband and 16-year-old daughter. Her goal is to renovate her house and go on a vacation with her family.

She is very happy and grateful for this opportunity through Fondo Esperanza, since it will allow her to invest in her business. She says her group is very nice and everyone is responsible.

Padre Las Casas is a community in southern Chile, near the city of Temuco, in the Araucanía region. The name is in honor of Spanish priest Bartolomé de Las Casas who defended the indigenous people during the conquest of America. There is a significant Mapuche population in the community. Its economy is based on agroindustry and commercial services.

In this group: Cristina, Sandra, Paula, Juana, Johanna, Nora, Norma, Eliana, Tamara, Sandra, Nuvia, Angelica, Mariza, Evelyn, Ana María, María, Ida, Miriam

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Sherry Bess.

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