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César De Jesus
When visiting the shop of Cesar Vásquez, one does not think of Antioquia, the district located in northwest Colombia that is isolated by the Cordillera Central (one of three main branches of the Andean mountain range). The inhabitants of this area were forced to work hard to fend for themselves. Anyone living in “El Paisa” (which refers to the districts of Antioquia, Risaralda, Caldas, and Quindío located north of Cauca Valley and northwest of Tolima) had to find their own food from other parts of the country in order to survive. Their own culture developed as a result of their drive, perseverance, and backbreaking work before finally settling in an area in the heart of the country. When walking through the region of “El Paisa”, one can see the forms of entertainment that resulted such as horse races, bull fights, dances, ring games, cards, dice, roulette, tightrope walking, cock fights, and fireworks. For example, Tormenta, the name of the store owned by Cesar and his wife, is situated in an area of “El Paisa” where the region finds its identity. The store is located next to a horse riding club where the members and their families come to Cesar’s establishment to have fun and buy food, refreshments, and other products any time of day or night. Tormenta was named after a very special horse. Photographs of this beautiful specimen decorate the walls to the delight of its admirers, which makes Cesar’s store a perfect communal gathering place and an ideal place to visit for those coming from the neighboring region of Soledad Atlántico or from Barranquilla.

Cesar Vásquez describes himself as a person prone to succeed and willing to take risks. He is a 30 year old head of household and proprietor of his own store, located in the neighborhood of Centenario in the city of Soledad. He and his wife work together, hand in hand. Both of them are natives of Granada and Cáceres respectively. They have two children, ages 13 and 4, who are the driving force for them to become working professionals and have all the necessary tools to live independently, be persistent, progress in life, and overcome any obstacles.

Cesar is a striking image of his father who, like any Paisan, was an excellent worker who made good use of his expertise. He drove Cesar to study. In return, Cesar was inclined to work hard from a young age. He started working with his father in the fields, where he developed many of the skills he uses today. Cesar manages his business every day with what appears to be almost a natural ability.

Cesar is receiving his second loan from Fundación Mario Santo Domingo. When he started with the organization, it only had one location. With this loan, he plans to purchase shelving and merchandise. His success is attributed to serving the people from the poorest neighborhoods, who shop more at his store than at a supermarket. He likes the location of his business because of its many advantages. Cesar will use his loan of 2,000,000 COP to increase his inventory of groceries such as beans, potatoes, grain, rice, and lentils.

Beyond that, his dream is to establish a large supermarket chain and aspires that God will give him such an opportunity in his work. With the profits from his business, he is able to cover his expenses and pay for Social Security for himself and his family so that they can continue to have a decent lifestyle. Cesar and his wife know that their efforts are not in vain because their honest labor will build a better life and future for themselves and their children.
View original language description ↓
Cuando alguien visita la tienda de Cesar Vásquez, no deja de pensar en Antioquia, Departamento ubicado al Noroccidente de Colombia que enmarcado por el aislamiento producido por la cordillera Central, hizo que sus habitantes se vieron forzados a trabajar fuertemente para valerse por sí mismos, razon por la cual el paisa (como llamamos a los colombianos procedentes de los departamentos de Antioquia, Risaralda, Caldas, Quindío, el norte del Valle del Cauca y el noroeste del Tolima) tuvo que buscar su propio alimento en otras tierras para lograr su sustento con una labor extenuante, que lleva a donde va un pedazo de su tierra en el Corazón; De esta manera, las carreras de caballo, corrida de toros, bailes, danzas, juego de sortija, de dados, de naipes, de ruleta y de bisbís, maroma, riña de gallos, fuegos artificiales y toda clase de diversiones, también han caminado con el paisa donde este se ubica ". Para la muestra, Tormenta, la tienda de César y su esposa, es un sitio donde un paisa encuentra su escencia, pues está ubicada al lado de un club de socios de caballo que con sus familias componen gran parte de su clientela, allí se divierten y consumen alimentos, refrescos y otros productos que puede encontrar a cualquier hora del día y de la noche. En la tienda Tormenta, nombre en honor a un caballo muy especial, observa colgadas en las paredes, hermosas fotografías de estos especimenes que deleitan la vista de los aficionados y hacen de este lugar el perfecto para compartir intereses paisas comunes y donde se integran también gran parte de los vecinos soledeños (de Soledad Atlántico) y otros que vienen desde Barranquilla.

Como una persona "echada para adelante" y con amplia capacidad de riesgo, se describe a si mismo César Vásquez, jefe de familia de 30 años y propietario de esta tienda- estadero del barrio Centenario en el municipio de Soledad, donde trabaja hombro a hombro al lado de su esposa, ambos de origen antioqueño de Granada y de Cáceres respectivamente; tienen dos hijos de 13 y 4 años, que son el motor que los impulsa a trabajar continuamente para verlos convertir en profesionales y para que cuenten con todas las herramientas para enfrentar la vida de manera independiente, persistir y progresar , venciendo los obstáculos que se le presenten.

Cesar lleva grabada la imagen de su padre también paisa, como un excelente trabajador y hombre sabio que sacaba cuentas como un experto; aunque este siempre impulsó a Cesar al estudio, este último se inclinó desde muy joven por el trabajo, por eso empezó con su padre su primera labor en el campo, donde desarrolló la gran capacidad que hoy posee; de él aprendió el manejo de cuentas y ahora lo hace con una habilidad natural, que todos los días potencia con su negocio.

Este es su segundo crédito con la Fundación Mario Santo Domingo; cuando empezó con esta organización solo tenía un estadero, con este crédito compró estanterías y mercancía. Su éxito radica en que la gente de los barrios más pobres compra mas en tienda que en supermercado, a él le gusta la ubicación de su negocio porque obtiene más utilidades. Cesar está solicitando un crédito de $2.000.000 y lo invertirá para ampliar el surtido de abarrotes en su negocio, por ejemplo los fríjoles, papas, granos, arroz y lentejas.

Más allá, su sueño es montar un supermercado como las grandes cadenas y aspira que Dios le dé la oportunidad mediante su trabajo. Usa las utilidades generadas por su negocio para cubrir los gastos de la seguridad social de él y su familia y para sostener a su familia dignamente. Cesar y su esposa saben que sus esfuerzos no son en vano, porque con su trabajo honrado están construyendo un mejor vivir para el futuro de ellos y de sus hijos.

Additional Information

About Fundación Mario Santo Domingo

Fundación Mario Santo Domingo (FMSD) is a non-profit organization in northern Colombia dedicated to developing programs for the country’s poorest communities. In addition to numerous social services, FMSD runs a microfinance program to strengthen micro-businesses in the areas where it works. The organization also offers several non-financial components as part of this program, including training to help entrepreneurs start their own businesses.

About Colombia

  • $6,070
    Average annual income
  • 264
    View loans »
    Colombia Loans Fundraising
  • $13,479,900
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 1,962.0
    Colombia Pesos (COP) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A loan of $1,025 helped César De Jesus purchase merchandise & shelving.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
15 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Monthly
Pre-Disbursed:
Jan 29, 2010
Listed
Feb 1, 2010
Currency Exchange Loss:
Covered
Ended:
Feb 15, 2011