A loan of $2,700 helped a member to buy chickens.

La Gran Amistad (Cuenca) Group's story

"La Gran Amistad" is a communal bank that is made up of 8 women who live in Cumbe parish in Cuenca. They are all friends and acquaintances, and they are responsible women who are struggling each day to provide for their families. Most of the women work in agriculture, livestock production and retail trade. Cumbe parish has a cold climate, and its architecture is a mix of colonial and modern styles. There are a lot of places where one can enjoy nature. Many of the residents work in the city or have migrated from different parts of the world in order to carry out activities that will allow them to improve the financial situation of their households. In spite of all of this, they still maintain their culture and the traditions of their towns.

One of the members of this group is Bernardita. She has been a member of the communal bank "La Gran Amistad" for a year. Bernardita is a native of Nabon, but for work reasons and for her children's education she's been living in Paccha province for 8 years. Every 28 days, she travels to Cumbe parish in Cuenca to meet with her communal bank and see her friends. She is 51 years old and is married. Together with her husband, she has 12 children: 7 of her children are married and live independently, and her 5 unmarried children are 17, 15, 14, 10 and 8 years of age. Two of her children are in school, and one child is disabled and so stays in the home. The two youngest study at a little school in the town. Her husband works as a bricklayer. In her canton, she has her own house, but in Paccha province they live in a rented home.

Bernardita has a business raising guinea pigs and hens, because she doesn't have a lot of space to raise animals. But in Nabon canton, she cultivates her land and she uses part of her harvest for her family's consumption, and sells the rest. She will invest this loan in the purchase of chickens so that she can have a greater variety of animals. Her dream is to expand her economic activities, which include her work in farming and livestock production. This way she will try to provide a better quality of life for her children.

In this group: Nelly Cecilia, Terecita De Jesús*, Johanna Maritza, Julia Oliva, Carmen Isabel, Bernardita, Rosa Blanca, María Dolores

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Lisa Grobar

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