A loan of $2,600 helped a member to buy thread and cosmetics.

Mujeres De Esperanza (Cuenca) Group's story

The Mujeres de Esperanza [Women of Hope] communal bank is made up of 8 members who know each other and have a great friendship. They work at different economic activities that allow them to pay their household expenses and get ahead with their families. These members are characterized by their charisma, their cheerfulness, and their culture and traditions. They live in different parts of the the city o Cuenca. This city is the third most economically important in the country. It has been a World Heritage Site since 1999. It is bathed in 4 rivers and has a varied cuisine that captures that palate of its own people and visitors.

One of the members of the group is María Orfelinda. She is 40 years old and has had six children in her marriage, aged 23, 18, 17, 15, 13, and 10 years old. Her oldest daughter works and helps her financially. Her second oldest daughter is married and lives on her own. Three of her children go to high school and her youngest son is in a primary school in town.

María Orfelinda works taking care of her household and weaving blouses and scarves. She learned this activity when she was 23 years old from her mother. For 3 years, she has also sold various brands of cosmetics.

This is the first loan she has had with the communal bank and she is going to invest it in buying thread for her weaving and in cosmetics to offer her customers a greater variety.

Her dream is to own her own house and for her children to become good professionals.

In this group: María Orfelina, Jessica Viviana, Rosa Ines, Ligia Judith, Nancy Rebeca, María Dolores, Rosa Nieves, Carmen Cecilia

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ellen Donohue

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