A loan of $5,000 helped a member to buy shellfish.

Esmeraldeñas (Cuenca) Group's story

Esmeraldeñas is a communal bank group formed by 6 women and 3 men, all friends and acquaintances, from the "green province" as Esmeraldas is known. All of them have come to the city of Cuenca to improve their income and improve the futures of their families. They live on the outskirts of the city and are all very hardworking people, always fighting for greater economic stability. They are very charismatic people who maintain their customs and traditions.

Erika is a very charismatic and happy woman who is part of this communal bank, and she is in her second loan cycle. She is 26 years old, lives with her partner, and has two children - a 9 year old who studies in a school in the city, and a 9 month old baby. Her husband works in the shellfish business, and they rent their home as they do not own one.

For the past 6 years Erika has had a market stall where she sells all types of shellfish, and she works Sunday through Saturday, without a fixed schedule. This business allows her to make enough money to maintain her home.

She will invest this loan in the purchase of shellfish in order to continue growing her business.

Her dream is to one day own her own home.

In this photo, the loan coordinator from the microfinance institution (Fundacion ESPOIR) can be seen in the yellow shirt, standing in the last row.

In this group: Lucy Ediltrudys, Segunda Celia, María Tatiana, Erika Mercedes, Victoria Yadira, Mariano, María Rosenda, Robert Leonel, Silvino Bonifacio

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Kaitlyn Godfrey

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