A loan of $1,700 helped to buy feed and supplies to improve her guinea pigs' nurseries.

Hilda Marina's story

Salcedo, located in the eastern part of Cotopaxi, is one of the most important provinces in the highlands of Ecuador. It is an ideal city for commerce because of tourist traffic and the needs of its inhabitants. Despite the productive businesses of farming and ranching, there are worrying levels of illiteracy and poverty. Many basic services, like for example sewage systems, are only in 25% of homes, but the local authorities are working to resolve these issues in every home.

In this city of enterprising people lives Hilda, a single, 36-year-old woman with two children whom she has cared for alone and who now help her with her work raising guinea pigs for sale. The guinea pig is an animal that is sold in Ecuador as both a pet and as food in different parts of the country, where it is served with potatoes and peanut sauce. Hilda has been selling these animals for 10 years and she spends at least four hours a day, seven days a week with them to deliver her customers well-cared-for, strong animals. This earns her customers' trust and their recommendations to new people who are looking for these animals.

Hilda needs a loan to improve the animals' nurseries and to buy feed that is more nutritious for them. With the earnings Hilda generates, she will be able to save up to buy the land she has dreamed of so she can farm more. She thanks Fundación Alternativa for giving her this opportunity through Kiva to get the financing she needs to take the first steps toward achieving her dreams.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Alyson Trowbridge

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