A loan of $1,275 helped to buy pants, blouses, and all kinds of clothing items.

Mercedes Arelita's story

The communal bank Jardín De La Artesanía meets biweekly in Cantón Montecristi, which is known for its rich precolonial culture and its crafts, which are renowned nationally and internationally. The famous Panama hat comes from here.

This is where Mercedes lives. She is 54 años years old, married, and has three children from this marriage. They are all adults now, but the youngest still lives with her. Her husband is a construction worker.

Since her husband doesn't have work at times, Mercedes works as a merchant, selling all kinds of clothing. She makes her sales door to door, but also at home. She leaves her merchandise with her customers on credit and bills them weekly. She purchases her merchandise in Guayaquil, a city where she travels every time she needs more clothing items. She has been in business for fifteen years. She started it using the first loan she got from her bank, which is why she is very grateful, since it allowed them to get through very difficcult times.

This loan is to purchase pants, blouses, and all sorts of clothing items that she sells. She has been with her communal bank from the start and enjoys it because with the first loan she received from it she started the business that now allows her to get ahead.

Her dream is to have a store to sell her merchandise.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Mariana Sanchis

Loan details

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Loan details