A loan of $1,600 helped to buy food provisions, medicines, bazaar items, etc.

Ruth Monserrate's story

The communal bank "Esperanza y Progreso" meets every fifteen days in the Montecristi canton, which is 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 hat.

Ruth lives in this area. She is forty-nine years old. Her husband passed away a few years ago, and she was left alone with three children. They are older and of age, although two of them still live in the house with her and study at the university.

Ruth has a store in her house, a business that has allowed her to continue moving forward alone with her children. In her business, her customers find everything, which pleases them. She sells everything from food provisions to bazaar items, paper products, medicines, and ice-creams made by a well-known national brand. She works every day from six in the morning until ten o'clock at night.

In addition to this, she also prepares lunches to sell. Every day, many customers arrive at her house to receive the delicious dishes that she has prepared. She has been working in these businesses for the past five years and it is through this that she has continued moving forward together with her family.

She wants to invest this loan in the purchase of food provisions, medicines, and bazaar items, among other things she can sell. She has been a member of the communal bank since it began and likes it for the help with loans that they have offered to everyone in the group.

Her dream is that her children become good professionals.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Christina Mellace

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