A loan of $1,625 helped to buy pants, blouses, T-shirts, perfumes and accessories.

María Consuelo's story

The communal bank "El Pedregal" meets every 15 days in the site of El Pedregal in Picoaza parish in the city of Portoviejo. This place is known for being a very commercial area, for its traditional San Pedro and San Pablo festivities, and for the happiness of its people.

Maria lives in this place. She is 30 years old, and is in a common-law marriage that has produced 3 children, aged 14, 12 and 5. The oldest two children are in secondary school, and the youngest attends elementary school. Maria's husband is a gardener.

In order to earn something on her own, and thereby help her husband with the household expenses, Maria works in retail. She sells all types of clothing, perfumes and accessories. She sells door-to-door 3 days a week, and she also sells from her home where she has some glass display cases to exhibit her merchandise. Maria sells on credit, and collects every 8 days. She goes to Guayaquil to buy her merchandise, and also occasionally to Huaquillas and Colombia. She's had this business for 8 years, and she has a lot of customers who always buy from her, because she carries top quality merchandise.

She will use this loan to purchase more merchandise, such as: pants, blouses, T-shirts, perfumes and accessories. She's been in her communal bank for 3 years, and she likes it because with the loans she can buy merchandise more cheaply, which increases her profits.

Maria's dream is to have a boutique.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Lisa Grobar

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