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A loan of $3,525 helped a member to purchase sunflower seeds.

Las Brisas Group's story

The name of this communal bank is Las Brisas. It comprises seventeen entrepreneurs who work in different trades, which include selling bath tissue, "pan amasado" (a Chilean homemade bread), salads, EVA foam crafts, steak sandwiches, pastries, and other services. They all belong to the city of Talca.

Mónica is one of the members of this communal bank. In the picture she is the fifth person from the right, wearing black pants and a black jacket, with brown long hair. She has worked selling sunflower seeds for one year. These seeds can be used in different ways: to make oil, to feed animals, or for human consumption. She says she works from home, where she roasts the sunflower seeds and packs them for sale. She works Monday through Sunday and distributes her schedule according to her availability.

She buys whatever merchandise and supplies she needs to sell her sunflower seeds from distributors, and at the supermarket she buys low-cost bags to pack the seeds, which are the most affordable.

She will use the loan only to purchase sunflower seeds.

One of Mónica's goals is to purchase some items, such as ice cream, to sell in addition to the sunflower seeds and generate more income so that she may access a better quality of life.

Mónica lives with her husband and their two children, who are sixteen and nine and are in school. On a business level, her dreams are to expand her business and grow as a microentrepreneur by adding more and more products to sell so that she can offer her family good stability in life.

She is very happy and grateful for the opportunity Fondo Esperanza has given her, because it has allowed her to invest in her business. She also feels very comfortable around the other entrepreneurs in the communal bank group, because they share different activities and interests, and that provides some leisure. As far as the trainings offered at the meetings, they have helped her manage her business better.

Talca belongs to the Maule region, located in the central area of the country. It constitutes the administrative, financial, and cultural center of the region, being the most important city of Chile's central valley. In Chile, there is a curious saying about Talca: "Talca, París y Londres" (Talca, Paris, and London). Among the myths explaining this, some say it is derived from something originally said by an Englishman: "Talca parece Londres" (Talca looks like London) on account of the fog that frequently covers the city during the winter season, as it does in the capital of the United Kingdom. (Both phrases sound virtually the same in Spanish).

In this group: Monica, Yessica, Maria, Marisol, Gloria, Claudia, Olga, Marisol, Gloria, Jorge, Karen, Valeska, Nancy, Graciela, Carolina, Cristina, Ingrid

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Mariana Sanchis

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