A loan of $1,050 helped to buy tagua seeds and polishing utensils.

Amparo Consepcion's story

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.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Kaitlyn Godfrey

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details