A loan of $7,850 helped a member to buy school clothes and school supplies, mainly for the month of March in the school year.

Buenaventura Group's story

This communal bank is called Buenaventura and it is made up of 23 enterprising members who work in different professions, such as perfume sales, lingerie sales, toy sales, and new and used clothing sales, among others. They all live in the Lo Espejo Commune of the city of Santiago.

Valería, who is the communal bank's treasurer, is standing in the front row of the photo, the fourth person from left to right. Her hair is pulled back and it is dark brown. She is wearing a black, sleeveless shirt that is purple in the center.

She sells new clothing for children and adults for a living. She buys her merchandise by the dozen in the commune of Estación Central.

She works at open markets Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays and she sells from her home to neighbors and friends all other days.

She will use the loan to buy school clothes and school supplies, mainly for the month of March in the school year.

One of her goals is to have a permanent place to sell.

Valeria lives with her husband and her six-year-old son. One of her personal dreams is to have her own home, and to achieve this she has to save and receive subsidized housing.

She is very happy and thankful for the opportunity Fondo Esperanza has offered her, as it has allowed her to invest in her business. It has also helped her fulfill herself personally and share experiences with other group members in the communal bank. As far as the training sessions are concerned, she tells us that they have helped her plan out her business's accounting.

Lo Espejo is a commune located in the southwestern area of the metropolitan region (where Santiago, Chile's capital is located). It is worth noting that it is one of the most densely populated communes in the country. It's population growth began with the arrival of immigrants from other areas of the country looking for better opportunities in the 60s and 70s. This gave rise to significant neighborhoods that are still around, such as José María Caro, Santa Adriana, and Lo Valledor.

In this group: Valeria, Mabel, Darling, Jacqueline, Jessica, Beatriz, Bernarda, Carolina, Olga, Evelyn, Nicole, Georgina, Jennifer, Lastenia, Cristina, Stefanie, Carolina, Edith, Lissette

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Alyson Trowbridge

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