A loan of $4,400 helped a member to purchase olives, cabbage, lettuce and carrots to stock her business.

Forjadores De La Vida Group's story

The "Forjardores de La Vida" community bank consists of 17 enterprising women who make a living in different trades, among which: selling at flea markets, selling vegetables, selling fruits, selling plants, sewing, selling table clothes, and other services. All of the members are from the city of Concepción, Chile. Mónica, a group member who is seated in the photo fourth from the right in the front row with a lilac jumpsuit, has made a living selling assorted salads for the past 12 years. She says she works Wednesdays and Saturdays, selling in the streets and other times at flea markets, her schedule depending on availability. She buys her merchandise and supplies at the commercial center where farmers bring in their products, where she finds fresh vegetables at low costs, which is financially beneficial. With the loan, she plans to purchase olives, cabbage, lettuce and carrots to stock her business. One of Mónica's goals is for her business to grow and to have a store where she can offer her products so she can generate more income and thus improve her quality of life. Mónica lives with her husband and their three children, two of whom are in school and the oldest of whom is working. Her dream for work is having her own store, and her familial dream is to have her own home since they live on her mother's land. She is very content and grateful for the opportunity provided by Kiva partner Fondo Esperanza, which has allowed her to invest in her business. Furthermore, she feels comfortable with the fellow members of her community bank, because the different activities and interests serve as a welcomed distraction. In respect to the training she has received at the group meetings, she has learned to better administer her business. Concepción is seated at the mouth of the Biobío River, one of the largest in the country, in southern Chile in the region of Biobío. It has played an important role in the nation's history, being sight of important battles and treaties, especially during the Arauco War (a long-running conflict between colonial Spaniards and the Mapuche people). Currently the city is undergoing an important economic and demographic development to come to be considered one of the most relevant urban, demographic, administrative, financial and commercial centers in Chile, after Santiago and Valparaíso.

In this group: Monica, Georgina, Roxana, Elena, Maria, Monica, Elena, Yaskara, Norma, Alejandro, Nancy, Norma , Lisett, Marisol, Marta, Maria, Ana

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Marty Greenstein

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