A loan of $900 helped to buy clothing, sheets, awnings, shoes, etc.

Mercedes Stella's story

The Divino Niño Jesús (Divine Child Jesus) Communal Bank meets every 15 days in Jipijapa canton, which is known by the name "The Sultana of Coffee" due to its extensive cultivation of a coffee with an incomparable flavor. The canton is also known for its gastronomy and for the warmth of its people.

This is where we meet Ms. Mercedes. She is 41 years old and the single mother of two children aged 20 and 14 years old. They are studying in college and high school, respectively, which presents many expenses for our friend. She has been in the Communal Bank for six years and she enjoys it because thanks to the loans, she started her business and has been able to get herself and her children ahead on her own.

She got involved in commerce with the intention of making a living so that she and her children could carry on. She sells all types of clothing, shoes, sheets, towels, and awnings, among other products. She tells us that she sells what she does in order to earn some, and that her children never want for anything. Her manner of sales is door-to-door, although she also sells at her home, where she has two display cases. Her children help her when they are not busy. She works every day, mostly in the mornings. She sells to her customers on credit and bills them every eight days. She goes to buy her merchandise in Guayaquil or Cuenca whenever she needs to. She has been in this business for six years and has gotten ahead thanks to it.

This loan is going to be used to buy more merchandise, such as clothing, sheets, awnings, shoes, and other things.

Her dream is to see to it that her children finish their studies and become successful professionals.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Katie Kavanagh

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