A loan of $1,100 helped to buy tagua [ivory palm].

Karina Rocio's story

The Virgen del Rosario Village Bank meets every 15 days in Colorado in the canton of Montecristi, known for its rich pre-colonial culture and for their crafts that are recognized around the country and the world. Here the majority of the inhabitants dedicate themselves to making buttons out of tagua [ivory palm nut], artisan crafts, and commerce in general.

Here we meet Karina, 29, who is married and has three children ages 10, 7 and 2. The older two are in school. Her husband works in a factory in Montecristi.

Our friend is a wonderful housewife who, in order to generate her own income, started a business 16 years ago crafting buttons from tagua. She uses a special lathe to cut the tagua and make the unfinished buttons. She sells the product in bulk to merchants in Manta and they send them abroad to be finished. She works every day from 8am to 12pm and 2pm to 5pm, sometimes with the help of her sister. She splits her time between her work, her house, and caring for her young children.

This loan will be used to buy tagua, the basic material for making the buttons. She has been in the bank since it started and is now the president. She likes it because the payments are easy.

Her dream is to have a bigger workshop with better technology.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Mary Berghaus

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