A loan of $950 helped to buy clothes, perfume, creams and cosmetics.

Mercedes Jakeline's story

The Calle América communal bank meets every two weeks in the Montecristi canton, known for its rich pre-colonial culture and its artisanal crafts that are known nationally and internationally. It is the home of the famous paja toquilla hats.

Here lives Mercedes. She is 43, married and has four children, aged 23, 21, 17 and 15. The youngest goes to high school. Her husband is a bricklayer.

Mercedes is a housewife who in order to have her own resources and help her husband, who doesn't earn very much, decided to sell clothes and Avon products (beauty products, cosmetics, perfume and women's accessories). She works three days a week, especially in the morning, because it's the easiest time to get around. She sells on credit and collects every two weeks. She started this business with the first loan she got from the institution.

This loan is to buy clothes, perfume, creams and cosmetics. She has been in the communal bank for more than 13 years and she likes it because the loans are easy to take out.

Her dream is to have a locale and a car to make her sales.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ellen Donohue

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