A loan of $900 helped to buy perfumes, creams, make-up and clothes.

Alexandra Margarita's story

The "Calle América" communal bank meets every fortnight in Montecristi, a region famous for its rich, pre-colonial culture and for its artisan products that are known both nationally and internationally. This is where Panama hats come from.

Alexandra lives here. She is 36 years old, married and has four children (aged ten, eight, six and three years). The three oldest are in school and her husband is a labourer.

Alexandra is a housewife who, in order to earn her own income, also has a business. She sells all types of clothes and Avon and Esika products (beauty products, make-up, perfumes and women's accessories). Alexandra works four days a week, selling door to door. She shows the catalogue to customers who can choose what they need. They pay on credit and Alexandra collects the payments in either three or four installments, depending on each customer's preference. Her highest selling products are perfumes and creams and, after seven years with the business, it is going well for her.

Alexandra will use this loan to buy perfumes, creams, make-up and clothes. She has been through four loan cycles with the communal bank and she likes it because of the help that she and her colleagues receive.

Alexandra's dream is to have a shop or a bigger business.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Iain Gaw

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Loan details