A loan of $1,600 helped to buy provisions and hardware products.

María Sthella's story

The members of Mejorando el Futuro Communal Bank meet every two weeks in the town of Tierras Amarillas in Rocafuerte Canton. This area is known for agriculture because many of the residents make a living in short-cycle agriculture.

This is where María lives. She's 34 years old and has a common-law relationship from which she has four children, ages 17, 13, 12, and 8. Two of them are in high school and the youngest is in elementary school. Her husband is a farmer.

To get ahead, and with the help of the first loan she received, she stocked a small store in her house. She sells all types of products, such as rice, sugar, oil, detergent, vegetables, and fruit. She works every day from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m., and sometimes later. Her husband occasionally helps her. She has had the business for a year and, despite this short period of time, has a lot of customers because there aren't many stores in the area. She also is dedicating part of the loan to her husband, who grows rice and corn.

She's going to use this loan to stock her store. She's going to buy all types of provisions and certain hardware products that she wants to sell. She has had four cycles with the communal bank and she likes it because of the help they get with loans.

Her dream is to give her children a better education.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Catharine Wall

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