A loan of $4,575 helped a member to buy chickens and fabric.

Siempre Amigas (Cuenca) Group's story

The Siempre Amigas (Friends Forever) credit group is made up of 12 women who are known for being enterprising and tenacious. They are searching for a better future for their children. Their main sources of income are agriculture, trade, and raising animals. They are very kind people who still keep up their culture and the traditions of their people. They live in the El Valle parish, an area that enjoys a natural beauty thanks to its uneven terrain. It is full of green fields; its architecture is a blend of ancient and modern. Little by little, El Valle has been growing and therefore is an important parish in the city of Cuenca.

One of the group members is María. She is taking out her fourth loan along with her friends and fellow members of the Siempre Amigas credit group. In that time, she has strengthened the bonds of friendship with all of her group mates. They spend a portion of their time sharing and chatting about things that interest them.

María is 63 years old. She is separated, but she has eight children from her marriage. Five of them are married and live independently. Her two single children work in the family tailoring business. The house that she lives in is her own.

For twenty years, Doña María has raised animals. This job has let her pay for her children’s schooling and get them ahead. About ten years ago she also learned tailoring, and now this is a family business because she works with some of her children. This is going well for her, and she hopes to keep growing.

She is going to invest the money from this loan in the purchase of chickens and fabric to put to work in her two sources of income. Her goal is to grow her business until she can have a bigger shop.

In this group: Clemencia Beneranda, Rosa Esperanza, Luz Filomena, Rosa Florencia, Jael Cecilia, Ruth Alexandra, Luz Magdalena, María Encarnación, Carmen Aurora, Esther Galud, Elizabeth Cristina, María Florencia

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Patricia Patton

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