A loan of $4,125 helped a member to buy shellfish.

Esmeraldeñas (Cuenca) Group's story

Esmeraldeñas Communal Bank is made up of nine members, seven women and two men who live in different places in the city of Cuenca. This city has a cold climate but its residents have warm hearts. It has been a World Heritage Centre since December 1999. The people there still maintain the culture and traditions of their people. The gastronomy in this city captivates the palate of its inhabitants and visitors. The people are pleasant and kind. An example of this is the members who, in their majority, have arrived from the province of Esmeraldas in search of better jobs to keep their families going.

One of the members of this group is Josefina, 25. She is married and has four children from this union, ages 10, 8, 5, and 3. Her two oldest children attend school in the town. Her husband works in construction and also sells fish and shellfish. They don't have their own home so they rent.

Josefina does the housework and raises guinea pigs and chickens, which she sells in her community. She also farms; her harvests are for home consumption.

This is the first loan she has received from the communal bank, to which she was invited by a friend. She is going to invest it in buying shellfish for her husband's business.

Her dream is to grow with the businesses, both hers and her husband's, and keep her family going.

A friend of one of the members joins [them] in the photo; she is wearing a pink-and-gray striped blouse.

In this group: María Liliana, Clariza Petronila, Lucy Ediltrudys, Erika Mercedes, Victoria Yadira, Sgunda Celia, Delberg Alfredo , Silvio Bonifacio, Jesefina Del Rocio

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Catharine Wall

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