A loan of $1,300 helped to buy "tagua" (a natural ivory substitute) for making buttons.

Ketty María's story

The Communal Bank "Virgen del Rosario" meets every 15 days in Colorado, which is located in the canton of Montecristi. This area is known for its rich pre-colonial culture and its handicrafts that are recognized on a national and international level. Most of the residents of this area engage in the manufacture of tagua buttons, handicrafts, and trade in general.

It is in this place that one can meet Sra. Ketty. She is 32 years old, married, and has three children (ages 14, 9, and 4). The two older children are in school. Her husband works as an appliance repair technician.

Ketty is a excellent homemaker who generates her own income so that she can help with the household expenses and pay for her children's education. She makes buttons out of tagua (a natural substitute for ivory). Ketty owns a lathe that she uses for cutting tagua in order to make the buttons, which are in crude form. The products are delivered to local wholesalers who come to the area to buy them. Later on, the goods are taken to Manta before being shipped abroad for the finishing touches. Ketty has been in this business for more than six years and has earned a good income.

This loan will be used to buy tagua, since it is the primary material used in making the buttons. Ketty has been with her Communal Bank from the very beginning. She serves as the group secretary and enjoys the convenience of the payments. Her dream is to have a large factory with the best technology.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ronan Reodica

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