A loan of $1,075 helped to buy rice, sugar, other staple foods and general store items to sell.

Juana Mercedes's story

The San Andrés communal bank meets every fifteen days in Picoaza parish in the city of Portoviejo. This is a place known for having lots of commerce, for its traditional San Pedro and San Pablo festivals, and for the cheerfulness of its people.

This is also the home of Juana, who is 58 years old. She has a common-law husband, with whom she has 5 adult children, one of whom still lives in her home. Her husband is a farmer.

Juana is a woman who likes to work and get ahead through her own efforts. She has a grocery store in her home where she sells all types of products, such as rice, sugar, oils, detergents, beans, vegetables, fruits, and general store items, among other things. She likes to have her store well-stocked and thus provide better service to her customers. They always buy from her because they find everything they need in her store. She works every day from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m., and sometimes even later. Her husband helps her when he can. She has operated her store for more than 15 years, and it has helped her get ahead.

She will use the funds from this loan to stock her store with more products. She will buy rice, sugar, and oil, among other staple foods, and also general store items. She has been in the communal bank from the beginning, and she likes it because of the help provided to the members by the institution. Her dream is to expand her store.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Patricia Linderman

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