A loan of $500 helped to buy a box of silk yarn which is valued at $450, and she will use the rest for other household expenses.

Bernardina's story

Bernardina is 53 years old and the mother of six grown children. She married when she was 18 and is still together with her husband to this day. Together they have worked very hard so their kids could get ahead. Four of them are married and have their own families. She now lives with her husband and only two of their children who work and help around the house.

Her children have all graduated from high school and she has not continued supporting them with university studies because she doesn't have the money. Bernarda did not go to school because her parents didn't want to send her or her five other siblings. She has been working at making hammocks since the age of 20. She went to a workshop in her town where she learned, and over time she has perfected the art. She used to make the hammocks from husks, but now she uses silk and poly silk. She makes 5 or 6 hammocks per month and sells them in the city where she also buys the materials. It takes her 30 minutes to walk to where she catches the bus, and the ride into the city takes another 30 minutes.

She buys the materials to make the hammocks every 15 or 20 days and she makes them in the afternoon after finishing her household chores. Her children help her after they return from working in agriculture.

The loan she is requesting from Fundacion Campo is to buy a box of silk yarn which costs $450 and she will use the rest for household expenses. With the loan, she will be able to make more hammocks and provide a better selection for her customers. In November and December demand increases because of the Christmas holidays.

Her dream is to continue working more each day so she can make and sell more hammocks. She also dreams of improving her house since the walls and floor are made of dirt. She will achieve this bit by bit with the earnings she hopes to make from the sale of her hammocks, and she is saving up for this.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Marcia Margolis

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