A loan of $6,075 helped a member to buy various items to sell for Christmas as well as fruits, flour, honey, dried fruits, and candies to make Christmas bread.

Union Y Fe Group's story

This communal bank is called, "Unión y Fe" [Union and Faith] and is made up of 18 entrepreneurs who make a living through various trades including: glass art, mosaics, selling dried products, a grocery store, making and selling french fries, selling vegetables, selling beauty products, selling cocktails, selling cakes, recycling shoes, weaving, etc. All of the members are from Valparaíso.

Johanna is the group member who is standing up in the back row, the first from the right. She is wearing white pants and shoes and a black shirt. She has brown hair that is down. She is a hairdresser and sells seasonal products. She has done this for 10 years. She tells us that she works Mondays through Sundays. She visits her customers' homes to do hairdressing while also selling her stainless steel jewelry. She also makes empanadas and bread for the Christmas season.

She buys the merchandise and supplies that she needs from different supermarkets, butcher shops, and distributors that specialize in selling hair products at a low price since this is what best for her economically.

She will use this loan to buy items to sell for Christmas as well as fruit, flour, honey, dried fruits, and candy to make Christmas bread. One of Johanna's goals is to keep growing every day and to sell all of her Christmas merchandise. This is how she will generate better income and have her family do well economically.

Johanna lives with her husband and two children, who are 4 and 13. Her personal dream and dream for her family is to construct a home after the loss that they had due to the earthquake. For her business, she wants to keep it well supplied so she doesn't have any extreme needs.

She is very happy and grateful for the opportunity and support offered to her by Fondo Esperanza. In addition to the great help after the earthquake, she is now able to invest in her business. She says that there is very good communication and responsibility in her communal bank. There are also trainings that have helped her learn new sales and accounting strategies. Valparaíso is 120 kilometers northeast of Santiago. It is the regional capital and also the legislative seat of the country. It is the country's main port and offers a great variety of beautiful and picturesque places, for example, the house of the poet Pablo Neruda, the winner of the Nobel prize.

In this group: Johanna, Hugo, Paula, Enriqueta, Detsy, Margarita, Ana, Lorena, Elisa, Maribel, Jacqueline, Marianela, Ximena, Orieta, Nadia, Jacqueline, Luis, Diego

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Tanya Harper

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