Armando M. is 31 years old and runs his own motorcycle repair shop in El Seybo, a medium-sized town in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic. With seventeen years of experience working with motorcycles, and three years in the motorcycle repair business, Armando brings a wealth of skills and expertise to his trade. In a community where most people get around on their own motorcycle (here just called a "motor") or by hiring a motorcycle driver (called a "motoconcho"), Armando's business has no want of customers.
Yet, Armando is not quite like any of the other motorcycle repairmen in the city. At 8 months old, Armando suffered a terrible fall off of a bed, and has since been unable to walk without the help of leg braces and prosthetics. Despite these constraints, Armando maintains a sunny outlook on life, which makes him very popular in the neighborhood of Ginandiana where he lives and works. Armando also has dreams for his business: he says that he hopes to expand his workshop over time, and he aspires to someday be a great businessman.
This is Armando's first loan from Kiva and Esperanza International, and he intends to invest the loan in his business and buy additional motorcycle replacement parts for his shop. Revenues from Armando's workshop constitute his primary source of income. He currently lives with his mother and younger sister. Here he is pictured in his workshop with some of his merchandise.