A loan of $5,100 helped a member to buy guinea pigs, chickens, pigs, and animal feed.

San Pablo (Cuenca) Group's story

San Pablo Communal Bank is made up of 12 women who live on the outskirts of Cuenca, a city that has a cold climate because of its rugged geography. The architecture is a mixture of colonial and modern, the people are warm-hearted and pleasant and preserve the culture and traditions of their ancestors, and their colorful clothing gives life to the city.

The members are fighters, hardworking women who work daily in different jobs that allow them to pay the household expenses to get ahead with their families. The loans they have received in the communal bank have allowed them to improve their quality of life because they invest the money in their businesses to keep growing.

One of the members of this group is Olga. She lives in the Narancay community in the city of Cuenca. She's 33 years old and a widow. From her marriage she has four children, ages 15, 13, 11, and 6. Her oldest child works and helps her financially. Her second child is at home and helps with the chores, and this year will start studying in a school via distance education. Her youngest two children go to school in town. The house she lives in with her family is the fruit of her labor.

Olga has worked for 15 years as a street vendor selling seasonal fruit in a market in the city. She works every day from 8 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon. At home she has the time to care for and sell her pigs, guinea pigs, and chickens. She also grows food on her land; her harvests are for the family and she sells what's left over.

She's going to invest her new loan in buying guinea pigs, chickens, pigs, and animal feed so she can continue to grow in this work.

Her goal is to have her own stall to sell her fruit.

In this group: Lourdes Patricia, Mayra Mercedes*, Daysi Rosalinda, María Olga, Lorena Ines, María Jesús, Mariana De Jesús, Rosa Alexandra, Rosa Aurora, María Rosario, Rosa Ines, María Carmelina

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Catharine Wall

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