A loan of $3,525 helped a member to buy fabric, thread, buttons, and other sewing material.

Luz María (Montecristi) Group's story

The communal bank Luz María meets every two weeks in Los Bajos, in the canton of Montecristi, which is known for its rich precolonial culture and its nationally and internationally renowned handicrafts. It is home to the famous Panama hat.

This is a group of people who decided to get together some time ago and form this loan group, which has been very useful to them. The loans they have received from the institution have enabled them to improve their small businesses and their lives, and that is why they wish to achieve a new loan, so that they can keep on moving forward. Most of them work in business in general.

One of the members of this group is Flor Lucciola. She is 54 years old, married, and had three children from this marriage, though one of them passed away several years ago. The other two are now adults, and one of her daughters still lives with her. Her husband is a driver.

Several years ago she learned dressmaking, an occupation which currently supports her. She has a small sewing shop in her home, where she makes a wide array of clothing items. She sews both men and women's clothing, and she is currently very busy sewing school uniforms, since it is almost time to sign up for classes and the children and teenagers need their uniforms. She has been doing this daily for over 15 years, and she has hardly ever lacked for work. She gets help from her daughter. On weekends she sells barbecued chicken also from home, which brings in some extra income.

This loan is to buy fabric, thread, buttons, and other sewing materials to make her clothes. She has been with the communal bank for three loan cycles and she appreciates the help she gets through the loans.

Her dream is to have a workshop with better machines and more operators.

The two small pictures are of two members who could not be present when the group photo was taken.

In this group: Luz Amada, Leonor Gabriela, María Elizabeth, Erika Yessenia, Flor Lucciola, Rosa Florinda, Martin Santiago*, Mercedes Olinda, Fanny Susana*, Nelly Margarita, Flor Alexandra, Esther Maricela, Rosa Isabel
*not pictured

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Mariana Sanchis

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Loan details