A loan of $800 helped to buy sodas, bananas, peanuts, oil, and other supplies.

Nora Cleofe's story

In the city of Portoviejo, the capital of Manabí, known for many years as the City of the Royal Tamarind Trees, the members of the Av. Del Ejército communal bank meet every 15 days.

Nora was born in Esmeraldas Province, but 8 years ago she came to live in Portoviejo. She is 41 years old and is in a a civil union. She lives with her husband and their four children aged 23, 21, 18 and 16. Two of her children are college students and the youngest is in high school. Her husband is a shopkeeper.

In order to earn her own money, and to be able to help her husband with the household expenses as well as pay for her children's studies, Nora sells prepared foods. She has a food stand in a city street where she sells empanadas, "corviches" [a dish made from green bananas and fish], and sodas. She works Monday through Saturday from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. Nora also makes ornaments and handicrafts that she delivers to bazaars and shops in the city. She has been in this business for more than 10 years, which has enabled her to help her children to continue with their studies.

This loan is for buying sodas, bananas, peanuts, oil and other provisions to make the food she sells. She has worked with the communal bank for 8 years, and she likes that the payments are easy to make.

Nora's dreams are to own her own house as well as a store to be able to sell her handicrafts.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ellen Craven

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