A loan helped a member to buy rope for weaving, two nets for drag fishing, and a used motor.

Cancuncito Group's story

Surrounded by hills and fields of sugar cane is a lake where fishing occurs; it is the occupation of many of the inhabitants of a Veracruz community. The mass of water and land eruptions have led to the formation of different islands. The most common has the nickname "Cancuncito". Similarly, from the top of the hills you can see a wonderful scenery.

Recently, a group called Cancuncito formed there. It consists of 10 hardworking, honest and united people. The members are: Bulmaro, who sells fertilizers; Carmen and Ana, who sell groceries; Epifania, Honoria, María y María L, who sell mojarra fish (tilapia); Maricela who sells cosmetics; Jacobo who sells ice cream and popsicles, and Elena, who sells tortillas and tamales.

For Epifania, life has been a great teacher that has allowed her to take advantage of its economic activity. She is married to Paulino who has made a living fishing since he was a child. Epi, as everyone knows her, speaks Mazatec 80% of the time and knows about 20% of Spanish. She is the mother of five children, all adults. She has been selling the fish her husband catches for 26 years. Paulino enters the lake in the evening and returns home at dawn with the day's catch. Then, the two of them clean the fish.

Epi has traveled the streets of different communities to sell the tilapia. She remembers when she had to walk for two hours on a mountain trail to meet the needs of her customers, because there did not used to be transport access. "I speak some Spanish; it helps me understand what my clients tell me, to charge them, and give them change," she says. For her, not speaking Spanish has been her main challenge.

With her earnings, Epi supports her husband with household and business expenses. The new loan will help her invest in buying rope for weaving, two nets for drag fishing, and a motor. Epi would like her husband and one of his sons to work on rearing the fish after catching them, to make more revenue.

The group is grateful for the opportunity of the loan. For some, this represents the beginning of their business, while for others, it will serve to strengthen their current business.

* The photograph was taken in front of the lake. Epi is wearing a black blouse. To obtain this story, Ana helped, as she speaks Mazatec and Spanish.

In this group: Carmen, Epifania, Honoria, Bulmaro, Maria, Maria Luisa, Maricela, Ana, Jacobo, Elena

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer anonymized.

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