A loan of $3,975 helped a member to buy clothes and shoes.

Las Vecinas (Cuenca) Group's story

The “Las Vecinas” (The Neighbors) communal bank has nine members, 8 women and one man, who are friends and neighbors living in various parts of the city of Cuenca, a cold climate city. Because of its great architectural beauty it was designated a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1999. Its people still preserve their culture and traditions.

Our members are kind, pleasant people who are warm-hearted and who enchant all visitors. They are noted for being hardworking people who daily strive to improve their home’s economy.

One of the group members is Alcira, 52. She’s divorced and has four adult children who are now married and living on their own. She does not have a house of her own so lives in the same house where she works.

Alcira has been working as a domestic employee for the last 11 years and since she has a good friendship with her employers they’ve allowed her to install her business in the house. Her business is a store where she works Monday through Saturday from 8am until 6pm; she also sells clothes and shoes via catalogue, an activity she’s carried out for four years. She does these activities without neglecting her tasks as a domestic employee.

She’s been a communal bank member for 4 years and will use her new loan to buy merchandise for the store, clothes and shoes to continue growing in her business. Her goal is to get a house of her own.

In this group: Alcira Virginia De Fátima, Silvana Karol, Susana Elizabeth, María Laura, Vanessa Pilar, Aida Mercedes, Gladys Dioselina, Margarita De Jesús, Miguel Angel

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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