A loan of $1,200 helped to purchase groceries, seeds and fertilizers.

María Sthella's story

The Mejorando El Future (Improving the Future) Community Bank meets at a place called Tierras Amarillas (Yellow Lands) in the hamlet of Rocafuerte every 15 days. This area is known for its agriculture since a large number of its inhabitants make a living in short-cycle farming. It is here we find María, a 34-year-old married mother of four children, ages 17, 13, 11 and 7. Two of her children are in high school and the youngest is in elementary school. Her husband is a farmer. With the help of her first loan María received from the community bank, she stocked a small convenience store in her home, selling all kinds of products like rice, sugar, oils, detergents, legumes, vegetables and fruits. She works every day from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m., even later at times. Her husband helps her once in a while. She has had her business for a year and despite the limited time she has many customers since there are not very many stores in her area. María also will give part of her loan to her husband for rice and corn seeds. She is going to use this loan to better stock her store with products of primary necessity, and for seeds and fertilizers for her husband's business. She has had more than three loan cycles with the community bank and likes it for helping provide the loans. Her dream is to give her children a good education.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Marty Greenstein

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