A loan of $1,625 helped to buy jeans, t-shirts, and blouses.

Elsa Ydalinda's story

The members of Mujeres de Riobamba Communal Bank meet every two weeks in the city of Portoviejo, known as the City of the Royal Tamarind Trees.

This is where Elsa lives. She's 59 years old and has a common-law marriage from which she has seven adult children, the youngest of whom lives in her house. Her husband's a painter.

Elsa makes a living as a merchant so she can earn her own money to help her husband with the household expenses. She also works in a boutique, where she receives a monthly salary.

She sells clothing door-to-door, taking advantage of the evenings and weekends to go around in the city. This is how she earns a little extra because she has a lot of household expenses, and what her husband earns isn't enough. She leaves things with her customers on credit and collects every two weeks. What she sells most are jeans, for both men and women. She buys her merchandise in Guayaquil or has it sent from Quito.

This loan is to buy jeans, t-shirts, and blouses.

She's a founding member of the communal bank and she likes it because the interest is low compared to other financial institutions. Her dream is to have a car to be able to get around and make her sales more comfortably.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Catharine Wall

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