A loan of $1,600 helped purchase pants, blouses, shirts, and children's clothes.

Mercedes Monserrate's story

The Calle America Communal Bank meets every 15 days in the Montecristi region, an area known for its rich pre-colonial culture and for its artisan crafts that are recognized at the national and international levels. This is the place with the famous straw sombreros.

In this place lives Mercedes. She is 37 years old, married, and from this relationship has three children who are 15, 10, and five years old. The two older ones go to secondary school and the little one to primary school. Her husband is a bricklayer.

In order to earn something and be able to help her husband with the household expenses, Mercedes sells all types of clothes. She sells door to door every day, whether it be in the mornings or in the afternoons. She goes out to go all around the city, offering her products. She also sells out of her home, where her most well-known customers visit. She goes to purchase her merchandise in Guayaquil, Huaquillas, and other cities, where it is sold the most cheaply. She has had this business for 10 years, and it is going very well. With her earnings, she pays for certain expenses and her children's schooling.

This loan will be used to purchase more merchandise such as pants, blouses, shirts, and children's clothes. She has been in the communal bank more than five years, and she likes it because of the help that the loans giver her.

Her dream is to give the best to her little children.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Olivia Shirley

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