A loan of $1,475 helped to buy pants, blouses, dresses, and children's clothing.

Marilis Monserrate's story

The communal bank "Esperanza y Progreso" meets every fifteen days in the Montecristi canton, known for its rich pre-colonial culture and for its handicrafts that are recognized at the national and international level. It is the land of the famous Panama straw hats.

Marilis lives here. She is fifty years old, is married, and through the fruits of this relationship, has three children. One is older and of age, and the other two are sixteen and thirteen years old. The eldest studies at the university, and the two younger children are in high school. Her husband is a primary school teacher.

Marilis works as a teacher at the local primary school, but she also makes a living in trade. In her free moments and days, she sells all types of clothing, and the majority of the merchandise she delivers is based on customers' orders, and they wait to receive them with anticipation. Her customers can buy on credit, and she collects payments every fifteen days. The merchandise that she sells has been sent as far as Panama. She has worked in this business for more than eighteen years and it is going very well.

She is going to use this loan to buy pants, shirts, blouses, dresses, and children's clothing, and to take advantage of this time of year that is very good for sales. She has been a part of this communal bank for more than two years and likes it because the loans help her to finance her business.

Her dream is to have a boutique.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Christina Mellace

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