A loan of $5,000 helped a member to buy merchandise to supply her business.


Las Calladitas Del Olivo Group's story

This communal bank is called "Las Calladitas del Olivo" ("The silent young women of the olive tree") and is made of 17 entrepreneurs, who have different activities, making artisanal jewellery or selling new and second-hand clothes among others. All of them live in the town of San Bernardo. Lorena is the president of this communal bank: in the picture, she is on the second row from the top, fourth person from the right, with short blond hair, wearing a white shirt and with her arm around one of the other women. She has been selling Hindu-like clothing as well as handbags for 5 years. She has a permit that allows her to sell products from a stand she sets up at an artisans' fair. She works all day every day, including week-ends and bank holidays. Her customer base is loyal and has been with her since she started her business. She buys her merchandise from several suppliers, depending on which offers the best prices. With this loan, she will buy merchandise to supply her stand. Lorena lives with her three children, aged 29, 27, and 20, who work and study. One of her personal dreams is to renovate her house and offer her grandchildren a better quality of life, particularly when it comes to education. She is very happy and thankful for the opportunity afforded her by Fondo Esperanza, since its support has been crucial for her business. She says that the communal bank group of which she is a member is very tightly knit. Thanks to the information imparted during meetings, she was able to learn new accounting and investing strategies for her business. San Bernardo is a town located 18 km to the south of Santiago's (the capital of Chile) main square in a straight line. It is known as the capital of folklore, since every year in January it hosts the International Folklore Festival, an event which showcases the country's roots and attracts musical ensembles from all over South America. The Traditional Artisans' Fair, also in January, draws Chilean and neighbouring countries' artisans to the town. In April, the town hosts the "Abril cuecas Mil" ("A thousand cuecas in April") festival, during which all the locals dance cuecas (a traditional Chilean dance).

In this group: Lorena, Lucy, Jacqueline, Sandra, Lilian, Rosa, Lucerina, Margarita, Mirella, Carlos, Claudia, Gloria, Silvia, Claudia, Javiera, Solange, Sylvia

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer



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