A loan of $6,200 helped a member to purchase an overlock sewing machine.

El Renacer Group's story

The community bank, “El Renacer” is made up of 17 entrepreneurs dedicated to various disciplines, including: vegetable sales, grocery sales, cheese sales, baking, sewing and garment making, fast food preparation, and other tasks. All the bank partners are from the community of San Bernardo, which is located in the city of Santiago.

Erica is the president of the group, and is the first person seated in the second row on the far left of the group photo. She has long, black hair tied to the side, and is dressed in black clothing. Erica has worked making clothing for 11 years, and she work on minor seams, repairs and hems, and also makes linens. She works on a flexible schedule, since her tasks vary depending upon customer orders. She spreads news of her business by word of mouth, and she also has a sign that she puts up in the door to her home.

Presently, Erica has two sewing machines to utilize for her business; one is a multipoint machine, and the other is a straight semi-industrial machine. She purchases her input materials directly from distributors, and with the support from this loan she plans to buy an overlock sewing machine. One of her goals for her business is to build a sewing shop onto the side of her house, and therefore she hopes to invest in building and construction materials.

Erica lives with her husband, mother, and her two children, ages 6 and 11. One of her personal dreams is to complete a cutting and preparation course to hone her skills as a seamstress and offer higher quality service to her clients.

Erica is very grateful for the opportunity Fondo Esperanza has given her, and with the support from this loan she will be able to invest in her business and continue developing her skills as she works toward her goals.

With respect to her community bank group, Erica says that they are a tight knit, committed and participatory group, with all members actively involved in meetings and the events.

The city of San Bernardo is located 18 kilometers directly to the south of the central Plaza de Armas of Santiago, the capital of Chile. Santiago is known as the capital of folklore dancing, and every January the International Folklore Festival is held there. This event unites all the ethnic groups in the country, and other musical groups from all over South America travel to join in the festivities. The Traditional Artisan Fair is also held in Santiago, and showcases the crafts and talents of artists from Chile and many other neighboring countries. In April, the “Abril cuecas Mil” dance event takes place to celebrate the traditional Chilean dance, cueca.

In this group: Erica, Ingrid, Berta, Carol, Aurelia, Lucila, Evelyn, María, Jessica, José, Rosario, Angelica, Sussy, Myriam, Jacqueline, Edelmira, Elba

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Gillian Goodrich

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