A loan of $2,800 helped a member to purchase tools.

Fortaleciendonos Juntos Con Esperanza Group's story

This communal bank is called “Fortaleciéndonos juntos con Esperanza” (Strengthening Ourselves Together With Hope). It is composed of 17 entrepreneurs who work in different areas, among which are: clothing sales, cosmetics sales, selling silver jewelry, selling coffee and tablecloths, and services, among others. They all live in the city of Lota.

Yoni, a member of the communal bank, in the picture is seated in the front row second from the right, wearing a sky blue shirt. His hair is short and gray. He has worked making various repairs for 10 years. He says that he works in his house and sometimes in his clients’ houses. He offers repairs of washing machines, kitchens, and garden fences in front of houses; whatever his client asks for, he does.

He purchases the merchandise and supplies that he needs for spare parts in different hardware stores; other times, he tells his client that he will buy them, and he collects the payment for work. With the loan, he will only buy tools.

One of Yoni’s goals is to continue with his repairing, to be able to help his clients when something breaks so he can come and solve the problem. In this way, he can also generate more earnings to give his family a better time.

Yoni lives together with his family, which is made up of his wife and two children of 11 and 15 years. His dreams for work are to grow day by day in his repairing, and on a family level, to give a good life to his family so that they don’t lack for anything.

He is very happy and grateful for the help offered by Fondo Esperanza to invest in his business. With respect to the communal bank group of which he forms a part, he says that there is very good communication within it. On the other hand, the education and training has allowed him to learn new strategies for sales and bookkeeping.

In Mapudungun, the language of the indigenous Mapuches, “Lota” means “little village”. It is a coastal community located close to the city of Concepción in southern Chile, in the Bíobío region. Lota is renowned for its large coal deposits, which are strongly tied to the history and economic development of Chile, as well as for its underground mine workers, whose difficult living conditions were described by the Chilean author Baldomero Lillo in his book “Subterra”.

In this group: Yoni, Paulina, Flor, Marioly, Camila, Leonor, Lucila, Silvia, Mariana, Maribel, Jacqueline, Evelyn, Katherine, Yesica, Lilian, Priscila, Ilse

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Caroline Hedel

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