A loan of $3,025 helped a member to buy glasses and wooden boxes to engrave.

Semillero Group's story

This "Semillero" communal bank is composed of 16 entrepreneurs who are dedicated to different trades, among which are selling firewood, selling new clothes, selling food, sportswear, selling mayonnaise, and making dough, among other services. All come from Padre Las Casas, near the city of Temuco.

Julie, president of the communal bank, is sitting in the front row of the photo in third place from left to right, wearing a purple jacket and with her long dark brown hair worn loose. She has her daughter in her arms. Julie dedicates her time to decorating and engraving glass, which she has done for 9 months. She says she works from home Monday to Friday, arranging her work schedule according to her availability. She buys the items for engraving from wholesale distributors, and decorates, polishes and draws figures on them. She buys at low cost so it makes good economic sense. With the loan she intends to buy glasses and wooden boxes for engraving. Her short term goals are to get people aware of her workshop and her glass engraving. In the medium and long term her goals are to expand her workshop, to generate more income, and with this to obtain a better quality of life. Julie lives with her 2 children: her 18 year old son who is studying and her little girl who is 11 months old. Her dream is to increase her skills in her field and get her work known in the local area and beyond, while creating jobs for others in need. Julie is very happy and grateful for the loan and the service provided by Fondo Esperanza. She also says that she feels very comfortable in meetings of the communal bank, as there is an atmosphere of generosity and unity.

Padre Las Casas is a community in southern Chile, near the city of Temuco, Araucania region. The town was named in honor of the Spanish priest Bartolomé de Las Casas, who was a defender of the indigenous people during the conquest of America. The town boasts a large indigenous (Mapuche) population. Its economy is based on agribusiness and commercial services.

In this group: Julie, Haydee, Luisa, Paulina, Karina, Patricio, Cristopher, Yessenia, Loida, Elizabeth, Cesar, Anita, Catherine, Olga, Miriam, Yeyssy

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Rosa Oswald

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