By Julia Kastner, KF9 Mexico

This week, I visited a Kiva group loan called Peña Blanca at the top of a mountain.  Sometimes you can drive up to the top, but when it rains, the stones that make up the path can come loose and it can be dangerous.  So the Fundación Realidad loan officer and I climbed the four hours up the hill to see how the loan was going.

I documented some of our journey so you can get an idea of what it was like!

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It was mostly good news – the group’s representative, Doña Lidia, has started driving down to the bottom of the mountain on a regular basis to buy goods like chickens, cooking ingredients, and sewing supplies, in order to sell the chicken and her finished goods to the town.   She’s really proud of this work, helping to grow her 60-person town into a much larger, self-sustaining community.  While teaching me how to make her hand-made tortillas, she bragged about her new electric corn mill she uses to make tortilla dough, because the town finally got electricity four years ago.  Her next dream, if her businesses go well, would be to buy an electric chile grinder so she wouldn’t have to grind her mole paste (which sells well in town) by hand.

As we stumbled up the hill, however, the loan officer and I realized just what it must be like to live in a place where you had to walk that distance all the time.  Doña Lidia’s truck often breaks down from the journey, so she, like the rest of the town, has to walk down and back.  Many of their children walk those hours every day to get to prep school!

My reaction from the top:

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