A loan of $5,900 helped a member to buy ivory palm.

San Gregorio (Montecristi) Group's story

The “San Gregorio” communal bank meets every fifteen days in Colorado Parish in Montecristi Canton known for its rich pre-colonial culture and for its crafts that are famous both nationally and internationally; it’s where the famous straw hats come from.

This communal bank has 10 women and two men. We met Solanda Narcisa here. She’s 33-years-old, married and has two children who are 12 and 6 years of age and attend school. Her husband’s an artisan.

She relates that this is a group of very humble, hardworking people who decided to join together and form this group when they found out about the benefits the institution provides in order to improve their businesses. They are in a variety of activities like animal husbandry and general commerce among other activities.

Along with her husband she owns a family business. They have a small factory where they manufacture buttons made of ivory palm. They work there day to day giving shape to their products which they deliver once a week to wholesalers that come by to then take them to Manta where they are shipped and sent to other countries to be finished there and be sold. A woman they pay a weekly salary works with them. She tells us that it’s quite hard work but it has its rewards and produces good profits because they do most of the work themselves. They’ve had the factory for more than 8 years and have always done very well.

This loan is to buy ivory palm to manufacture the buttons. This is their and the entire group’s first cycle and they hope to continue getting help from the bank for a long time to come. Her dream is that her children have the best.

In this group: Sonia Alexandra, Deysi Margarita, Mariela Alexandra, Angela Elizabeth, Liliana Verónica, Irving Stalin, Nelly Narcisa, Lorena Jasmin*, Cruz Marilu, Alba Colombia, Junior Ernesto, Solanda Narcisa

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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