A loan of $6,225 helped a member to purchase fabric to make seasonal clothing.

Abriendo Surcos Group's story

María is 62 years old. She grew up in a poor family, so she only managed to get through elementary school. She separated from her husband a number of years ago, which was something very painful in her life and represented an obstacle in pursuing her business. María raises her 13-year-old grandson because of some problems the boy's mother has with her work schedule. They live in Quinindé, a hamlet in the province of Esmeraldas that provides a number of cities in Ecuador with bananas, cacao, coffee, palm and forest products, and the majority of the inhabitants make a living in commerce. That has become even more the case since the roads into town were expanded, allowing a lot of commercial movement, especially on the weekends when merchants of all kinds go out to offer their products at the area flea markets. Tourism is another important industry because the natural ecosystem offers a wide variety of places to see waterfalls, rivers and forests full of flowers and animals. Every family works hard and looks for new ways to improve their quality of life, so one could call this an enterprising place. María started her seamstress shop a number of years ago. She learned from experience and little by little improved her craft, and now she is an expert and spends between eight and 10 hours a day making clothing for all occasions, according to the demands of her customers. She is requesting the loan to purchase distinct fabrics and in this way she can offer a wider variety of styles. She hopes this will increase her income, since her goal is to have a big seamstress shop making clothes to sell all over the country, and with that she will be able to pay for her grandson's education until he becomes a professional. María has joined with friends who also need to expand their businesses, as is the case with Jofre, who makes a living raising and selling pigs. Juilo raises pigs and sells fish, while Cruz sells pigs and chickens. Another María raises and sells chickens. Teresa, Verónica and another María sell clothing via catalog, same as Sonia, who despite a physical disability also sells jewelry. Patricio and Angela have grocery stores.

In this group: Maria Concepcion, Jofre Vitelio, Patricia Alexandra, Sonia Susana, Maria Fernanda, Teresa Consuelo, Cruz Del Carmen, Julio Walberto, Maria Magdalena, Angela Margarita, Veronica Elizabeth

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Marty Greenstein

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