A loan of $6,600 helped a member to purchase merchandise and construction supplies.

Sinfonia Group's story

The “Sinfonía” ("Symphony") community bank consists of 23 entrepreneurs who make a living in different trades, among which are selling clothes, selling at flea markets, pastry-making, selling general supplies, selling cosmetics, selling plastics as well as other services. All of the members are from the city of Puerto Montt, Chile. Lorena, seen standing in the second row of the photo in the sixth spot from right to left in front of the window and wearing a black jacket, has made a living in pastry-making for the past 10 years. She says she works at home every day and at the moment is expanding a portion of her home to set up a store. She offers empanadas, artisan confectionery and curantos (a traditional dish from the Chiloe archipelago off the coast of Chile that is prepared in a pit with red-hot stones and seafood is thrown in - clams and mussels being most common - and then covered with leaves and vines). She purchases her supplies from supermarkets and distributors to get what she needs for her pastries and curantos at a low cost, making it economically desirable. With the loan, she plans to purchase more supplies as well as construction materials. One of Lorena's goals is to finish her expansion so she can set up her store and tend to her customers in a more orderly manner. Lorena lives with her husband and their four children, ages 21, 19, 14 and 8. Her dream for her career is to have her own store to generate more profits for her family and to pay for her children's education. She is very content and feels grateful for the opportunity provided by Kiva partner Fondo Esperanza, since it allows her to invest in her business. She says that the training she has received has been essential for her business as well as her personal development, since she has learned to better organize and manage her profits and investments. Puerto Montt is a city in the south of Chile located in the region of Los Lagos. Among the city's attractions are its beautiful green landscapes, its uncrowded beaches, its cuisine - especially its reputation for fish and seafood - and its arts and crafts. It is also the gateway to Greater Chiloe Island, rich in traditions and legends.

In this group: Lorena, Marcelo, Jocelyn, Solange, Irma, Diego, Oriana, Miriam, Jessica, Daniela, Teresa, Elena, Laura, Juan Carlos, Maria, Magda, Armando, Camila, Maria, Carmen, Jose, Paola, Cristian

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Marty Greenstein

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