Pedro is part of the communal bank “21 de Mayo – El Roble” and resides in the city of Lota. Pedro has a stand located in the main streets of Lota, where he sells delightful sweets and children's crossword puzzle and word search books. Pedro's business sits in a commercial district area and is quite far from his home. Pedro's stand has no roof, so Pedro uses an umbrella to protect it from the sun and cover for the rain. Pedro has worked this stand for the past 15 years, but has worked in this type of business for the past 25 years.
Pedro started selling items in the street fairs and little by little he started working towards establishing the stand he holds today from Monday to Saturday. For many years, Pedro’s wife has also run a stand, but of fruits and vegetables, in the street market.
With this loan Pedro will purchase merchandise, a new and larger umbrella and will send his stand-booth to get repaired. Pedro is a father of three; the two oldest sons are professionals and no longer reside with him. Pedro’s youngest son just graduated from high school and is 18 years old; he still resides with Pedro and is looking for work to continue his studies. Pedro’s goal is to support his son through his studies as he did with his older sons, thanks to his business and wife.
The entrepreneurial training offered by Kiva Partner Fondo Esperanza has been very helpful to Pedro, as he has improved his money management skills. Pedro is also grateful for his loan officer and the companionship of his other fellow group members.
In Mapudungun (the language of the indigenous Mapuche population), Lota means "Humble Village". It is a coastal community located near to the city of Concepción in the southern region of Bíobío. Lote is known for its large coal deposits, which were very important in the history and development of Chile. Chilean writer Baldomero Lillo memorializes Lota and the difficult living conditions of its coal miners in his book Subterra (Underground).
About Fondo Esperanza
Fondo Esperanza (FE) is a private non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurship by providing micro-credit and training to people living in poverty in well over 100 cities throughout Chile. By providing these services, FE aims to improve the living conditions of the entrepreneurs and their families. In 2010, FE provided loans to more than 41,000 entrepreneurs. It utilizes a communal banking model in which groups of 18 to 25 clients meet on regularly and guarantee each other’s loans. The members use their portion of the loan to create or expand their own businesses. In the group meetings, clients receive training though the FE Entrepreneurship School, which enhances clients’ personal and business skills and ability to work in groups.