A loan of $7,400 helped a member to buy more clothing to sell to people of all ages.

El Esfuerzo De Colon Group's story

This communal bank is called “El Esfuerzo de Colon” (The Spirit of Colon) and has 17 entrepreneurs who are active in different trades, including sales of stuffed buns, clothing, plastics, groceries, bread dough, plus stallholders, services, and others. They all live in San Bernardo in Santiago city.

Francisca, secretary of the communal bank group, who in the photo is seated in the 1st row, second from the left, wearing a blue polo shirt under a black jacket, with glasses and her hair is 'tomado'. She is a merchant who has been selling used clothing for roughly 1 year from her own home. She buys her merchandise in Santiago. With her loan, Francisca will buy more clothing for persons of all ages. Her goals are to be able to have a stall in the market, and to generate a larger income, and thus obtain a better quality of life.

Francisca lives with her 2 daughters, aged 23 and 27, who are both working. Her dreams are to acquire a stall in the Persa market, to sell new clothes. Francisca is very content and grateful for the loan and services offered by Fondo Esperanza. In addition, she feels very comfortable with the reunions and her communal bank group because of the generosity and unity.

San Bernardo is a city located 18 kilometers on a straight line to the south from the Plaza de Armas in Santiago (Chile's capital). It is well known as the folklore capital, since every year, in January, they hold the “Festival Internacional del Folklore” (International Folklore Festival) there. At this event, the roots of the country are recognized and musical groups from all of South America attend. Also, they hold the “Feria de Artesania Tradicional” (Traditional Artisan Festival), in which artisans from Chile and surrounding countries participate. Later, in April, they also have an event called “Abril Cuecas Mil”, which consists of Cueca dancing (a traditional Chilean dance) all around the town.

In this group: Francisca, Olivia , Sandra, Rosa, Maria, Nadia, Gloria, Maria, Elizabeth, Elena, Dominga, Ruben, Patricio, Felisa, Angela, Katherine, Ricardo

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Harold Dana Sims, PhD

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