A loan of $3,575 helped a member to buy ponchos, straw hats, handkerchiefs, and all kinds of accessories for the national holiday.

Juntos Crecemos Group's story

This communal bank is called "Juntos Crecemos.” It is made up of 17 members who work in different sectors, including sale of fast food, hot dogs, sopaipillas (Chilean fried pastry), personal hygiene items, clothing, salads, services and other activities. All of them are from the San Bernardo commune, located in the city of Santiago.

Julia is a member of the communal bank. She is in the photo, standing in the first row, occupying the second place from left to right, wearing a black jacket with grey-colored zippers that stand out. She has light brown hair and wears it plulled back.

She has been selling at street markets for seven years, offering clothing and hygiene items. She says that she works Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and that she arranges her hours of work according to her availability.

She buys the merchandise and supplies she needs in the city of Santiago, at distributors that are low-cost, and therefore advantageous financially.

With the loan, she will buy ponchos, straw hats, handkerchiefs, and all kinds of accessories for the national holiday.

One of Julia's goals is to contrinue with her business, and to be able to expand even more, in order to generate greater income, and this way aim for a better quality of life.

Julia lives with her husband and 14-year-old son who is in school. Her dream at the family level is to always keep her sales business going; as this hard work has enabled her to pay for her son's schooling and save for tomorrow, so that he can attend university.

She is very pleased and grateful for the opportunity offered by Fondo Esperanza, as it will allow her to invest in her business. She says that the training has been key for her business and also for her personal development, as she has learned to better organize and allocate her revenues and expenditures. With respect to the group she belongs to, she feels at ease, as there is trust and respect.

San Bernardo is a city located 18 km south in a straight line from the central square of Santiago (Chile's capital). It is known as the "Capital of Folklore," due to the fact that each year, in January, the International Folklore Festival takes place. This is an event in which the country's roots come together and musical groups from all over South America gather.

The Traditional Crafts Fair is also held, in which both Chilean craftspeople and those of other nearby countries participate. Then in April, the April of a Thousand Cuecas is held, which involves having the entire commune dance the cueca (a traditional Chilean dance).

In this group: Julia, Marisol, Marcela, Marisol, Sandra, Katty, Jessica, Cynthia, Leslie, Ema, Lorena, Johanna, Angelina, Ingrid, Ester, Paulina, Ximena

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Jeff Goldie

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