A loan of $750 helped to buy fish, shrimp, plantains and other ingredients for the meals she sells.

Martina Monserrate's story

The “9th of July” Communal Bank meets every 15 days in Montecristi Canton, known for its rich pre-colonial culture and for its artisan craftsmanship, which is known at a national and international level. This is the source of the famous 'Panama' hats.

Martina resides here. She is 38 years old, married, and from this relationship there are 4 children, ages 17, 16, 14, and 12, who study in the local school. Her husband works as a builder.

For the purpose of earning something on her own, and thereby helping her husband with household expenses, over 4 years ago, Martina began a small business, selling drinks and quick meals such as tuna cakes, meat pies, and raw fish and shrimp ceviches. She rented a small stall very close to the local market, a place where many people come to shop, and her sales are very good. Martina works every morning, selling her delicious ceviches, and every afternoon selling her other dishes. Her children help with the business.

This loan is for purchasing fish, shrimp, plantains and other foods necessary for preparing the meals. This is her communal bank's 2nd loan cycle. She likes the bank because, thanks to these loans, it is now easier to finance her business.

Martina's dream is that her children should finish their studies and become upstanding persons.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Harold Dana Sims, PhD

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