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Miriam Elena
Miriam is a 45-year-old single mother of four who lives with three of her children in Heredia, in the central valley of Costa Rica. Miriam has opened a bazaar inside her house, where her clients can come by to peruse the various products she has for sale. Through her sales, Miriam hopes to complement the pension she receives from the government to offset the impact of diabetes. To date, Miriam has lost two toes from her left foot and a benign tumor has formed in her stomach (it is currently being determined whether an operation is necessary) due to her illness.

Miriam opened her bazaar three months ago with the financial support of her eldest son. As you can see in the picture, Miriam sells all types of items, such as candles, ceramics (hand painted by Miriam) and lights. She plans to use this loan to purchase inventory items to sell at her bazaar such as cleaning products, as well as painting supplies for her ceramics. Miriam enjoys painting ceramics and hopes to invest in this activity in order to offer her clients inspiring decorations for their homes. The main use of this loan will be to fill her bazaar with items for sale.

Miriam wakes up at 5 am every day, prepares breakfast for her children, carries out domestic jobs, and sends her children to school. Her daughter assists with these tasks and goes to night classes. One of her sons works all day and returns at night.

Miriam's goal is to increase sales revenues in an effort to improve the family's standard of living. Since opening her business, she has been able to earn $200 per month in profit, to complement the $200 she receives from the government. The cost of rent and public services eats up $200 per month, so Miriam is hoping to increase her revenues from the bazaar. Miriam has received training from the National Institute of Apprenticeship in accounting and administration, with the goal of supporting the success of her business.

The main obstacle in her life and her business is her diabetic condition. Her physical mobility has been compromised, making it difficult to travel even short distances, and the presence of a tumour has created both physical and psychological stress. She says that the support of her children, both young and old, and the love she feels inspires her and gives her strength to persevere and provide for her family.

Additional Information

More information about this loan

In Costa Rica, funding for microfinance institutions is hard to come by, and many institutions find themselves having difficulty growing and reaching all the demand for loans that exist. Kiva works with Fundacion Mujer because it attends a very marginalized population in Costa Rica, with a specific focus on women. In addition to the loan, Fundacion Mujer provides specialized training programs for their borrowers on everything from computer classes to salon training. Because of the difficulty in obtaining capital in Costa Rica, Fundacion Mujer cannot serve all the women that need loans. Therefore Kiva plays a unique role in helping Fundacion Mujer grow its portfolio and reach borrowers it otherwise would not be able to.

About Fundacion Mujer:

FundaciĆ³n Mujer is an organization specializing in the financial and personal development of female entrepreneurs in Costa Rica. They seek to reach underserved populations that may include indigenous communities, immigrants, refugees, victims of domestic violence or women living with HIV/AIDS. FundaciĆ³n Mujer offers courses in both business and personal development, as well as training in concrete skills such as sewing and other crafts.

About Costa Rica

  • $12,900
    Average annual income
  • 36
    View loans »
    Costa Rica Loans Fundraising
  • $4,441,500
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 499.7
    Costa Rica Colones (CRC) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A loan of $1,025 helped Miriam Elena for the purchase of cleaning products and ceramic painting supplies.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
20 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Sep 22, 2010
Sep 25, 2010
Currency Exchange Loss:
Jun 16, 2012