A loan of $750 helped to buy meat, cheese, plantains, soda, water, and other supplies.

Laura Estela's story

Los Bajos de Montecristi is a city known for its great diversity of typical products, like, for example, the Panama hats that are widely known both inside and outside of the country. The members of the communal bank 4 de Noviembre meet here every fifteen days.

Laura lives in this place. She is thirty-eight years old, is married, and has four children, ages 17, 10, 9, and 5. The eldest has already finished high school and hopes to continue to study at the university this year; the others are in high school and primary school. Her husband works occasionally.

In order to move forward with her family and to help her husband (since he sometimes does not work), she makes a living selling food items. On the weekends, she sets up a small stand on a soccer field in the community where many people go on the weekends to play sports. There, she sells empanadas, sandwiches, soda, water, and several other items. She has been doing this for more than six years, and it is thanks to this that her children are not in need of anything.

This loan is to buy meat, cheese, plantains, soda, water, and other supplies that she needs in order to prepare her food items. She has had three cycles of loans with the communal bank, and she likes it because the group is very united and offers her a lot of help.

Her dream is for her children to finish their studies.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Christina Mellace

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