A loan of $1,625 helped to buy raw materials and increase production.

Manuel's story

Manuel, 69, completed elementary school. He’s married to Ángela, 67. They live together in San Rafael Parish located in Otavalo Canton in Imbabura Province. Otavalo is a city that’s very attractive because of its diverse culture; it’s very well-known by both national and foreign tourists who visit different vistas, colorful festivals and the culture of its indigenous and mestizo peoples that come from legendary histories and who have defended their territory since time immemorial.

It is an economically rich canton because it’s been a center of craftsmanship since its most ancient origins and its products are today highly prized worldwide. Tourism is another industry that contributes to this city’s economy because in this rural zone can be found rivers, lakes, waterfalls and forests that are highly visited. Because of the high number of tourists, merchants and residents in the city, one can find downtown a great variety of businesses that have as their main goal to offer all services to those passing through the city. These businesses range from hotels to inns, restaurants to cafeterias, bookstores, clothing stores, computer rentals, Internet access, etc.

Manuel started his business baking bread in a wood-burning oven 30 years ago when his parents injected him with interest in the experience they had. Manuel spends a minimum of 8 hours daily baking and selling bread and he also finds the way to stretch his time to spend in his extra activity raising domestic animals.

Aiming at keeping his family’s tradition alive and to meet demand from his city’s residents who always have a special preference for “Don Manuel’s” bread, he tries to keep the business stocked with sufficient quantity to fill all orders placed. Because of this, Manuel called on Fundación Alternativa to find a loan whose funds will be used exclusively to buy flour and supplies to increase production.

Despite his lack of formal education, Manuel has shown himself to be a good business manager and he’s sure that with the guidance from Fundación Alternativa executives he will be helped with the business so that he can use excess profits to start a savings account to cover his and his wife’s old-age needs.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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