Mercedes sells about 4 chickens a day, and a 4 lb. chicken usually sells for 100 pesos (about US$ 3). She has three children, but only supports two as one has already married and left the house. She lives with her husband, two children, and her husband's mother. Her mother-in-law is blind, and that has made things difficult because she is unable to help out with much around the house.
Mercedes is also the group coordinator; she works hard to make sure that her partners are doing okay with their businesses, and that everyone repays on time. She is a warm, friendly, and hard-working woman who tries each day to sell a little more, and do a little better.
NOTE: This $750 loan will fund Mercedes' business as well as four other businesses in her solidarity group. She and four other women micro-entrepreneurs came to Esperanza and formed their group, Paz de Esperanza (Peace of Hope). They have all gone through Esperanza's business training program and will receive equal shares of the loan to invest in their respective businesses and will pay back the loan together. The entire group must pay in full and on time, otherwise group members must make up the deficit before any payment can be made. This creates accountability among the group members because each one shares in the struggles and successes of the other members in their group.
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Success!! The loan was 100% repaid