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Amparo Consepcion
Amparo, 34 years old, is dedicated to the collection and sale of tagua seeds. She lives in the city of Manta where she has her cement house with basic services. She is separated but is in charge of her two children who study in public school. Amparo tells us that the business was started by her parents, who taught her how to collect and treat her product. She explains to us that the hard and white seed, almost like ivory, is obtained from the seeds of the Phytelephas palm. The polished endosperm of the seed looks much like ivory, despite having completely distinct properties. In Ecuador, the species used for obtaining the tagua seed is phitelephas aequatorialis, which exists in the subtropical region between the Andes and the coast especially in the province of Manabi. Additionally, the tagua seeds can be processed like flour which can then be used to feed animals like cows, pigs and birds. It is estimated that in 1920, some 20% of buttons produced in the United States were made of tagua, principally from Ecuador, Colombia and Panama. Currently, it is mostly used to make buttons and decorative animal figures which are highly sought after by tourists. Her children help her to collect and sell in their spare time, and she is very grateful for their help as it can become quite heavy to transport these products. She will invest this loan in the purchase of utensils which can be used during the polishing process. In the coming years she would like to buy a vehicle to improve transportation for her business.
View original language description ↓
Amparo de 34 años se dedica a la recolección y venta de tagua. Vive en la ciudad de Manta donde tiene su casa de cemento y cuenta con los servicios básicos. Es separada pero tiene a su cargo a sus dos hijos quienes estudian en la escuela fiscal. Amparo nos cuenta que el negocio lo empezó por sus padres, quienes le enseñaron la recolección y el tratamiento del producto. Ella nos explica que la tagua o marfil vegetal se obtiene del endosperma blanco y duro, de las semillas de la palmera Phytelephas sp, de la familia Arecaceae. El endosperma pulido de la semilla se parece muchísimo al marfil, a pesar de sus propiedades completamente distintas. En Ecuador, la especie utilizada para la obtención de tagua es Phitelephas aequatorialis, que existe en la zona subtropical entre los Andes y la Costa especialmente en la provincia de Manabí. También la tagua se la procesa como harina de tagua la cual sirve como alimento para animales como ganado, cerdos, aves. Se estima que, en 1920, un 20% de los botones producidos en los Estados Unidos eran hechos de tagua, procedentes principalmente de Ecuador, Colombia y Panamá. En la actualidad lo que más se confecciona son botones y figuras decorativas de animales los cuales son muy preciados por el turista. En la recolección y venta la ayudan sus hijos en sus ratos libres, agradece mucho su ayuda ya que es un poco pesado el trasporte de estos productos. El préstamo lo invertirá para la compra de utensilios que se utilizan para el proceso de pulido. En próximos años le gustaría comprar un vehículo para mejorar el transporte de su negocio.

Additional Information

About Banco D-MIRO

Banco D-MIRO is a microfinance institution that serves the most vulnerable sectors of Ecuador’s economy. It offers very small loan sizes without requiring collateral, expanding access to borrowers who would not otherwise be able to access capital to start and grow their own businesses. It also specifically targets borrowers who are excluded from formal financial systems due to race, ethnicity, gender, disability or illness.

About Ecuador

  • $10,600
    Average annual income
  • 33
    View loans »
    Ecuador Loans Fundraising
  • $26,710,175
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • US Dollars
    Loan transacted in USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A loan of $1,050 helped Amparo Consepcion to buy tagua seeds and polishing utensils.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
14 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
May 6, 2012
Jun 7, 2012
Currency Exchange Loss:
Jun 18, 2013