A loan of $900 helped to buy "tagua" (a natural ivory substitute) for making buttons.

Rosa Del Pilar'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 here that one can meet Sra. Rosa. She is 34 years old and a single mother of three children (ages 15, 13, and 11) who are attending school. Rosa lives at her parents' house. She has been with her Communal Bank for three loan cycles and enjoys the help that the loans have given her.

Rosa is an excellent homemaker, but she also generates her own income by manufacturing buttons out of tagua. She uses a lathe (a machine that cuts the tagua) for making buttons in crude form. The products are delivered to traders who come to her area to buy them before taking them to Manta, where they are shipped abroad for final processing. Rosa works every day and has been in business for almost two years.

She is repeating the loan process for the same business. During this past loan cycle, her business did not do very well because of the winter. She almost came away with no profits. Rosa hopes to recover with this new loan. Her business is currently improving with each passing day. Rosa says that her situation resulted in two delinquent payments, but she was able to get back on track so that she could continue receiving the loans that are very important to her. She will use the money to buy tagua, the raw material used for making the buttons. Rosa is now in her fourth loan cycle with her Communal Bank and enjoys the convenience of the payments. Her dream is to have a large factory with the latest technology.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ronan Reodica

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