A loan of $4,125 helped a member to pay for her children's education.

Alianza Unida (Cuenca) Group's story

The 'Alianza Unida' community bank has 11 members who work in different business activities that allow them to provide for their families. They are noted for being hard-working, tenacious women who are always charming and cheerful. They live in different parts of the city of Cuenca. Cuenca is the third largest city in the country and was named a World Heritage Site in December 1999. The local people are kind and maintain their culture and traditions.

One of the members of this group is 39-year-old Elsa who is a single mother and has three children who are 17, 14 and 7. Her two eldest children are in high school and her youngest is attending a local elementary school. Elsa does not own her own home but instead lives with her parents in a house that they own. They share the household expenses.

Elsa has been working in a restaurant for the past 20 years. She works shifts from Sunday to Sunday.

Elsa has been a member of her community bank for six years and she will invest her new loan in covering her children's educational expenses. Her dream is for her children to become professionals.

In this group: Flor América, Clemencia Concepción, Carmen Rocío, Margarita Guadalupe, María Auxilio, Rosa Leonor, Olga Maricela, Wilma Francisca, María Doralisa, Angelica María, Elsa Sara

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

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