A loan of $3,700 helped a member to buy threads, buttons, fasteners and other materials for sewing.

Las Américas (Cuenca) Group's story

Las Americas is a communal bank which consists of seven female members and one male. They live in the outskirts of the parish of Victoria del Portete in Cuenca. a place which has huge plains which are favourable for raising cattle. Its natural landscapes give us relaxing moments outside of the noise of the city. Its people make a living in farming, raising animals and business. They are friendly, gentle people who work day after day to improve the economic stability of their homes and get their families ahead. They keep the flame of their cultures and traditions very much alive.

One of the members is Maria Del Cisne, who is 38 years old. She lives in free union and has given birth to six children aged 22, 21, 18, 16, 4 and 2. Her oldest three daughters work in the family business which is sewing. Her fourth daughter stays at home helping with the housework and her fifth daughter is studying at pre-kindergarten. Her husband works in the construction industry as a bricklayer. They don't have their own house so are renting one.

María Del Cisne works in a sewing workshop which she has in her house. She learnt this business by skill and her daughters help her. She has had this business for the past 15 years and works without a fixed timetable. She makes a living making traditional skirts and blouses. She also raises guinea pigs and chickens and works in farming, although what she harvests is only for her family to eat.

She will invest this loan in buying threads, buttons, fasteners and other sewing material she needs for her business.

Her dream is to finish building her house.

In this group: Rosa Elvira, Luz Esperanza, Rosa Alicia, María Ubaldina, Angel Modesto, Julia Del Carmen, María Del Cisne, María Piedad

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Laura Darby

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