A loan of $6,500 helped a member to buy cardboard, metal, tins, bottles and all types of recyclable materials.

Piedad Santana (Montecristi) Group's story

The “Piedad Santana” communal bank meets every fortnight in Montecristi Canton, famous for it's rich pre-colonial culture and it's handicrafts which are recognized nationally and internationally. This is the home of the famous Panama hat. The group is composed of 11 women and 2 men who decided to get together to form a communal bank. This has helped them a lot as with the loans they have been able to improve their small businesses and their living standard. They are very modest people who live on the little they make from their businesses. They have different activities in commerce, service and selling food.

One of the members is Antonio who is 55 years old. He is divorced and has 4 children from this relationship. Two of them still live with their mother. Antonio is very hard-working who always likes to get ahead with his effort. He is a carpenter and buys and sells recyclable materials. He goes out every morning on his tricycle through the city collecting and buying cardboard, metal, cans, bottles, car batteries and any material that can be recycled. When he has a good quantity of these materials he takes them to a local recycler who buys them at a good price. So he makes his living in an honorable manner and can send money so that his children have food.

The loan will be used to buy cardboard, metal, cans, bottles and all types of recyclables. He has been in the communal bank for two cycles and likes the support he gets from the loans. His dream is to have a vehicle to do his business.

In this group: Elena Jacqueline, Consuelo Isabel, Stefania Pilar , Mercedes Maribel, Bella Pascuala, Mary Consuelo, Jubenil Antonio, Paula Hortencia*, Yuly María, Carlos Milyton, María Annabel, Nelby Janeth, Mirna Narcisa
*not pictured

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer leonardo

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