Bertha lives and works in Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, one of the largest cities in Ecuador with 500,000 inhabitants. But you'd never guess the size of the city from its tranquil pace of life. Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas is in a tropical, humid area of Ecuador, renowned for its natural beauty, huge markets and its trade in livestock - the largest in the country.
Bertha lives in her own home with her partner Marco and their two children. Bertha is 39 years old, and her children are 3 and 12. Marco works for a public utilities company, which keeps him busy all day, thus Bertha works alone in her business operating a clothing store. Bertha shares her free time with her children.
This is Bertha's second loan this year from Kiva's partner, Fundación Alternativa. She will use the loan to buy more merchandise to sell. Her biggest challenge at work are the hours: she must rise early in the morning, sometimes as early as 2am, to buy clothes to sell in her store. She also works long hours during the day, as the Santo Domingo markets foster high competition between vendors. She hopes the loan will allow her to boost her business and her earnings, so that she can continue to work towards a brighter future for her family.
About Fundación Alternativa
Fundación Alternativa encourages entrepreneurship and provides sustainable financial and non-financial services that promote social and economic development in Ecuador. The organization focuses on serving poor and excluded populations through analysis of clients' living conditions and by providing business training and other support services in urban, rural and marginalized parts of the country.