A loan of $800 helped to buy fish, foodstuffs, pots, hammocks, curtains, etc.

Maricela Leopoldina's story

The “1 de Febrero” (February 1) communal bank meets every two weeks in Picoaza Parish in the city of Portoviejo, a city known for being a very commercial zone, for its traditional feast day of Saint Peter and Saint Paul and for the cheerfulness of its people.

Maricela, 34, lives in this place. She’s in a common law relationship and has two children who are 13 and 9 years old and attending secondary and elementary school. Her husband is a merchant.

Our friend has a small restaurant in her grandmother’s house. She works there every morning preparing delicious ceviches [marinated seafood] of sardines and swordfish which her customers that come by her locale day to day love. She will also use the loan she’ll get from the bank to help her husband in his business. He sells hammocks, pots, ladles, curtains and various other items. To do so he heads out into the countryside which is where he sells the most and twice a month he heads to the city of Cuenca to sell his products that are well-received in that city. She tells us that she’s been selling ceviche for seven years and every day has more customers and her husband has been a merchant for 15 years.

She will use this loan to buy fish and foodstuffs to prepare the ceviches and pots, hammocks, curtains, etc. that her husband can sell. She’s been in the communal bank for three cycles and likes it because of the group’s unity and because they’ve welcomed her well into the group. Her goal is to continue forward and to give her children the best.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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