A loan of $1,075 helped to purchase food, school supplies, ice cream, and mobile phone recharge cards.

Sandra Elizabeth's story

The “Productivo” [Productive] Communal Bank meets every fifteen days in Montecristi canton, a region known for its rich pre-colonial culture and for its artisanal crafts that are recognized both nationally and internationally. It is also the home of the famous Panama hats.

In this region, lives Sandra. She is 39 years old, is in a common-law relationship and has three children, ages 14, 10, and 1. The two older children attend school. Her husband is an artisan.

To get ahead, Sandra and her husband have a store set up in their home. They sell all types of products such as rice, sugar, oil, detergent, legumes, fruits and vegetables, and ice cream. In addition, they provide mobile phone air time recharges and sell phone cards. They work every day from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm and sometimes much later. Her husband is also engaged in artisanal crafts that he creates in an aluminum and glass workshop located in their home. His wife helps him occasionally. He has been in this business for over nine years and it is going well because he has a good clientele.

She is going to invest this loan in the purchase of food, school supplies, ice cream, and mobile phone air time recharge cards. They have been members of the communal bank for over three years and they like it because of the support they provide through the loans. Her dream is to provide her children with a better education.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Eleanor Francoletti-Putz

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