A loan of $600 helped to buy plaster, paint, and chalk wholesale in order to continue her business decorating masks and other crafts.

Bernardina's story

Bernardina spends her time decorating masks with plaster, chalk, paint, ornaments and other decorations. First, she creates a mold and applies a layer of paper. She almost always uses newspaper. This smooths the entire surface while fitting into irregularities in the mold. When the paper layer is dry, she repeats the process with additional layers of wet paper and a starch paste until the mask reaches the desired thickness. Afterward, she carefully peels back the mask which comes off in a block. Next, holes for the eyes and nose are drilled. She then proceeds to attach the teeth, ears, neck, hair bristles and any other addition such as rubber connections to allow movement. Horns are added based on the traditional number for decoration and/or the number specific to the region where the masks come from.

Bernardina is a single mother and lives in her uncle's house with her mother. They live in El Alto in the area near 16 de Febrero.

Bernardina's dream in the medium term, is to have a shop where she can make masks and other crafts while at the same time reaching maximum efficiency in the various stages of production. This will result in higher product output, reduction in costs, better quality products, and the ability to export to other areas. This will increase her income and quality of life for her family. This loan is needed to buy materials in larger quantities as to save money in costs.

This the first loan she has applied for with IMPRO and her first time with KIVA.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Kelly Fletcher

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