A loan of $1,475 helped to buy charcoal, and also fabric, thread, zippers and buttons for making clothing.

Maria's story

María belongs to the “Mis Sueños” communal bank, whose members live in the city of Talca.

She works as a seamstress, and makes sportswear, curtains and clothing in general. In addition, over the last 15 years, she has had other occupations such as selling charcoal, weaving, embroidering, and making hand-crafted cushions. She says that she works alone, opens from Monday to Friday, and manages her hours of work according to her availabilty.

She buys her merchandise in the city of Santiago at various distributors that are low cost, and therefore advantageous from a financial standpoint.

With the loan she will buy charcoal, and also fabric, thread, zippers and buttons for making clothing.

One of María's goals is to set up a workshop in her home, and to give other people the opportunity to work, and this way the chance for a better quality of life.

Maria lives with her mother and father and looks after them, One of her dreams is to set up a workshop in her home so that she can look after her parents and serve her customers more easily.

She is very happy and grateful for the opportunity that Fondo Esperanza has offered her, as it has allowed her to invest in her business.

As well, she feels very much at ease in the company of the other entrepreneurs in the communal bank group. They share various activities and interests, which has also served as an enjoyable distraction for her.

Talca is part of the Maule region, located in the central area of the country. It constitutes the administrative, economic and cultural center of the region, being the most important city in the Chilean central valley.

Talca is the subject of a curious phrase in Chile: "Talca, París y Londres" ("Talca, Paris, and London"). Among the possible explanations for this are some that say it derives from a comment made by an Englishman: "Talca parece Londres" (which, in Spanish, sounds like "Talca, París y Londres", meaning "Talca resembles London"). Indeed, in the winter, an abundant fog often blankets the city, as happens in the capital of the United Kingdom.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Jeff Goldie

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