A loan of $3,275 helped a member to buy flour, sugar, dried fruit, oil and dough.

Los Perseverantes Group's story

This communal bank is called “Los Perseverantes” (The Persevering Ones) and it has 15 members who are in a variety of lines of work among which are grocery store, catalogue clothing sales, snack sales, towel sales, underwear sales, street merchants, home items sales and services, among others. All are from the Quilicura commune located in the city of Santiago.

Carmen is a communal bank member. In the photo she’s standing in the front row, fourth from left to right, wearing a brown shirt printed with colored flowers; her hair is dark brown and it’s long and worn loose.

She has been selling breakfasts for three years. She comments that she works with a three-wheeled cart selling breakfast to her clientele. She makes cakes, Bundt cakes, kneaded bread, sopaipillas, sandwiches, tea and coffee. She works Monday through Friday from 6am until 10pm. She buys supplies as needed in supermarkets and stores where she finds it at low cost which is convenient economically. She will use the loan to buy flour, sugar, dried fruit, oil and sopaipilla dough. One of Carmen’s goals is to have a fixed locale and to grow into a micro businesswoman to generate higher income and have the possibility of better quality of life.

Carmen lives with her husband who helps her sell the breakfasts and with her two children, a disabled 13-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter. Her dream at a work level is to have a locale where she can take care of all her customers and at the family level to give her children the best so that her son can continue with his Telethon [charitable rehab centers] training and her daughter can attend school.

She is very happy and grateful for the opportunity Fondo Esperanza has provided because it will allow her to invest in her business. She comments that the training has been fundamental for her business and also for her personal development because she’s learned how to organize and better distribute her income and investments. She comments that there is very good communication in the communal bank she belongs to.

Quilicura es a commune in the Santiago, Capital of Chile, located in the extreme northeast of the metropolitan region. The name comes from Mapudungun (Mapuche tongue): “Kila” which means “three” and “Kura” which means “stone” from which one can deduce that the Quilicura’s name means “Three Stones” which was the name the original inhabitants of this valley gave it in reference to the three hills that are perfectly visible and define the commune.

In this group: Carmen, Maria Isabel, Claudia, Luis, Sonia, Mabel, Constanza, Cecilia, Daniel, Maria Isabel, Cecilia, Marcela, Ingrid, Paula, Maria Isabel

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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