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Elva Maria
At 70 years of age, Elva María R. D. C. is an active woman who lives in the neighborhood of Buenos Aires. She enjoys Carnival season, the time of year when a picturesque atmosphere sets the background for the most important cultural festival in the city. The Carnival of Barranquilla is also one of the happiest occasions in Colombia. Its popular and carefree style reflects the youthful spirit and creativity of the people of Barranquilla, making it an essential part of the Caribbean.


Once the Christmas holidays are over, Elva María and her daughter begin organizing her home business with all the decorations pertaining to Carnival, a mixture of the modern with the more traditional type that reflects the event’s origins. The tradition of Carnival was brought to the Americas from Spain and continues to promote the spirit of renewal and change that inspired this holiday season in Europe.


In addition to being known for her cheerful personality, Elva María is an enterprising woman who prepares snacks such as fried foods maD. of flour, arepas (flatbread served with various fillings or toppings), and caribañolas (dumplings maD. of cassava and potato dough, stuffed with meat and vegetables). She sells these snacks to stores and individually to neighbors in her area. Elva María also has a retail shop in her home that is stocked with stationery and various seasonal accessories worn by women and girls.


Her snack business was a tradition passed on to her by her mother, who also prepared these same products for sale. Elva María has added the most delicious desserts to her offerings, as she loves the art of cooking. She also sells sancocho (a traditional soup), but she noticed that many people in the neighborhood started prospering, so she suspended selling food temporarily so that she could open and organize the retail shop in her home. When this business started, her husband Joaquin C. traveled frequently for work since he was employed by a shipping company. Running a home business helped to make her feel that she was not alone. Today, her husband is retired and enjoys a peaceful and happy life.


Elva María has received three previous loans from Fundación Mario Santo Domingo and has repaid them all on time. She used the proceeds to purchase miscellaneous goods and supplies for preparing food at different times of the year: Christmas, Carnival season, Easter, etc. With the profits generated by her business, she has managed to make repairs and modifications to her home because her husband’s pension was used to pay for the completion of the work. This freed up her income to devote on other expenses such as food and services. Their joint incomes have also contributed to the success of her business. Her next loan in the amount of 2,000,000 COP will be used to stock her store with school supplies. She also plans to sell drinks, such as delicious and healthy juices, and popsicles maD. with milk and fruit and packed in plastic bags. Her customers will soon be able to taste these delightful treats in order to cool down from the high temperatures experienced on the Coast.


Elva María’s goal for her family in the midterm is to acquire a place at a commercial site so that she can use her home for storing the display cases that hold the merchandise displayed before customers. Her short-term goal is to buy a hot dog cart with a canopy; a bread and sausage steamer; inserts with lids for keeping onions, cheese, and potatoes; stainless steel containers for holding sauces; and an interior cupboard for storing bread. These items will be installed at the entrance of her business, which is already known for selling food and hosting the most anticipated costume party for the residents of the neighborhood, the famous “Lunes D. Carnaval” that occurs on the third day of Carnival season. The party starts with the appearance of a large pick-up truck equipped with a sound box, six loudspeakers, two columns, three machines, eight transistors, an equalizer, and a three CD disk changer. The group “El Millo” begins the festivities with traditional Caribbean folk music. In this district of Barranquilla, this annual neighborhood tradition is now known as “the Party with the Cuetos”, named after Elva María’s family. The attendees of this great rumba festival only pay for the food and beverages offered by Elva María, so she is able to enjoy the party and still earn a little money.

View original language description ↓
Elva María R. D. C., es una mujer activa que a sus 70 años vive y goza del Carnaval en su barrio Buenos Aires, donD. para esta época se respira el ambiente pintoresco D. las fiestas patrimonio más importantes D. la ciudad y una D. las mas alegres del Colombia; esta es, el carnaval D. Barranquilla, que con su estilo popular y libertario, refleja el espíritu jovial y creativo del Barranquillero y afirma su pertenencia al Caribe.

DesD. que finalizan las fiestas naviD.ñas, Elva María con su hija disponen su mente, organizan su negocio y su casa con típicos adornos alusivos a esta tradición, donD. tiene presencia el mestizaje en todas sus manifestaciones populares, como si quisieran recordar el origen remoto del Carnaval, que vino a América desD. España y que continua su espíritu D. renovación y cambio similar al que animó estas fiestas en Europa.

Elva María además D. ser alegre, es una mujer emprendedora que elabora alimentos entre los cuales están los frituras, derivados D. la harina, arepas, caribañolas-amasijos D. yuca y papa rellenos con carne y verduras-, que venD. en tiendas y también D. manera individual a sus vecinos del barrio; ella tiene en su casa una miscelánea surtida D. productos D. papelería y accesorios variados que adornan a mujeres y niñas D. acuerdo a cada temporada del año.

Su primer negocio nació D. la tradición D. su madre en la preparación D. estos mismos productos que ella ahora venD. y a los que ha agregado la elaboración D. los mas deliciosos postres, pues le encanta el arte D. la culinaria, actividad que nunca ha dejado D. realizar; ella también vendía Sancochos o sopas, pero notó que muchas personas al verla prosperar, empezaron a a hacer lo mismo y decidió suspenderlo provisionalmente y abrir una miscelánea que organizó en su casa. Cuando se inició como negociante, su esposo Joaquín C. viajaba mucho trabajando en una empresa Naviera y el negocio la ayudaba a no sentirse sola; él ahora está pensionado y disfruta en su compañía D. una vida tranquila y feliz.

Elva, ha recibido tres créditos a través D. la Fundación Mario Santo Domingo y los ha reembolsado oportunamente, porque los ha invertido en la compra D. mercancías para la miscelánea e insumos para la preparación D. alimentos que en cada época le sugiere el mercado: la naviD.ña, carnavalera, Semana Santa etc. Con las utilidades producidas por el negocio ha logrado hacer reparaciones y adecuaciones en su vivienda; porque su esposo con el dinero D. la pensión por tiempo laboral concluido, asume los gastos por alimentación y servicios; la unión D. ambos ingresos ha generado su éxito en el negocio. Su próximo crédito por valor D. $$2.000.000, lo utilizará en comprar mercancías para surtir la miscelánea con útiles escolares, planea además vender refrescantes, exquisitos y saludables bolis- jugos congelados, elaborados con leche y frutas frescas, empacadas en bolsas plásticas-, estas serán las delicias que próximamente degustarán sus clientes para aliviar el calor corporal que genera temperatura ambiente D. la Costa.

Su meta familiar a mediano plazo, es comprar un local en un sitio D. mas salida comercial, pues en su casa debe sacar las vitrinas para que la mercancía sea vista por los clientes; su meta a corto plazo es comprar un tricicarro D. perros calientes-triciclo con carpa, vaporera para panes y salchichas; insertos con tapa corrediza para cebolla, queso, papas, etc.; cubetas para las salsas, en acero inoxidable; con cava en poliestireno expandido forrada en acero inoxidable, y espacio interior para guardar el pan- el cual será instalado en la entrada D. su negocio ya reconocido por la venta D. alimentos y por hacer la fiesta D. disfraces mas esperada por los vecinos D. su barrio, el famoso Lunes D. carnaval, tercer día D. estas fiestas, caracterizado porque desD. muy temprano suena el gran PICK-UP, -amplia caja D. sonidos, con 6 bafles entre bajo y medio, 2 columnas, 3 maquinas D. 8 transistores, un ecualizador, un modulo D. 3 CD, dos columnas para brillo- y el grupo D. millo para animar esta reunión con música folclórica del Caribe. En este sector D. Barranquilla la ya reconocida “fiesta donD. los Cuetos”, apellido D. esta familia, es el lugar D. encuentro D. sus vecinos todos los años; ellos solo pagan el consumo D. alimentos y bebidas que Elva María ofrece a las familias que allí se congregan para hacer su gran rumba carnavalera y ella a su vez gana su dinerito y se goza su fiesta.

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
  • 249
    View loans »
    Colombia Loans Fundraising
  • $13,361,775
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 1,988.1
    Colombia Pesos (COP) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A loan of $1,025 helped Elva Maria purchase refreshments & restock her store with school supplies.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
21 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Monthly
Pre-Disbursed:
Jan 29, 2010
Listed
Jan 31, 2010
Currency Exchange Loss:
Covered
Ended:
Sep 17, 2011