A loan of $4,725 helped a member to buy a car.

Cascada De Esperanza Group's story

This communal bank is called “Cascada de Esperanza” (Cascade of Hope) and it has 29 entrepreneurs who are in different lines of work among which are street market merchants, furniture makers, street merchants, massages, jewelry, textiles, perfume sales, turnover sales and services, among others. All are from the city of Valparaíso.

A communal bank member, Edith, appears in the photo seated in the front row first from right to left wearing jeans, a white shirt and over it a light brown jacket; her hair is long, light brown and she wears it loose.

She’s been selling used clothes for the last four months in street markets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays from 8am until 6pm. When she can’t work in the street markets because of the weather, she sells chocolates, sesame cookies and ‘chuchuflis’ [traditional Chilean chocolate-covered sweet] from house to house.

Merchandise she needs she buys in the city of Viña del Mar. She buys the clothes in warehouses and low-cost clothing stores which is an economic advantage. She will use the loan to buy a car to transport her merchandise, bundles of clothes, tent, hangers and some materials for the chocolates.

One of Edith’s goals is to make her business quite attractive so that her clientele will be able to see her merchandise more comfortably and that it looks different than how it looked at the beginning when she didn’t have much clientele.

Edith lives with her four children who are 22, 17, 12 and 9 years of age. She comments that she’s raised her children alone and has all of them in school so that they will be able to have a different life. Her dream at the family level is to finish some of the details in her house like the floor, and the closets in her children’s bedrooms.

She is very happy and grateful for the opportunity Fondo Esperanza is giving her because it will allow her to invest in her business. She comments that the training has been fundamental for her business and for her personal development too because she’s learned how to organize and better allocate her income and loans.

Valparaíso is located 120 kilometers northeast of Santiago. It’s the regional capital and also the seat of the country’s legislative power. It is the nation’s main port and offers a variety of beautiful, picturesque places to visit like the home of Nobel Prize laureate, the poet Pablo Neruda.

In this group: Edith, Paula, Marcela, Oriana, Alejandra, Orietta, Viviana, Paulina, Gladys, Ximena, Gonzalo, David, Monica, Myriam, Gladys, Rossana, Luis, Nicole, Juan, Julio, Maria, Maria, Oscar, Katherine, Victor, Paula, Isabel, Maria, Michels

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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