Total loan: $5,350

Lago Azul Group

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El Alto, La Paz Department, Bolivia / Food

Lago Azul Group's loan finished fundraising,
but these similar borrowers just need a little more help to reach their goals!

A loan helped buy a stove and gas cylinder for cooking her fish dishes.

Lago Azul Group's story

Carolina is a woman of 35, lives with her husband and has two sons aged 7 and 15 and a 5-year old daughter. She earns her living selling food.

Whether it's in good times or bad, Carolina can be found smiling even when she is suffering inside. Her business takes place in the neighbourhood of Tiquina which is where the straits between the sacred Lake Titicaca and the Isla del Sol are located.

Carolina has dry, rough skin like sandpaper which can stand the inclement weather. Her hair is long and jet black--she wears it in the traditional braid. Her clothing is also traditional (hat, shawl, and skirt), and her mother tongue is Aymará which she speaks at home. But she also speaks Spanish for cultural reasons. At the centre she takes off her hat.

She shares her life with her husband who is a fisherman and with her children who attend school and also work on the farm. They live in their own house built of adobe and have electricity but no other services.

Carolina's wish to improve her income led her to the lending bank.

The businesses of the other members are cheese making, weaving shawls, agriculture, dairy, livestock raising, fish selling, and selling quinoa. Carolina sells food. Because her husband is a fisherman, she makes dishes exclusively from fish such as 'wallaque' which is made from a local fish called Karachi. It measures about 10-15 cm, has many scales and a wonderful flavour. It is said to have healing powers and cures the headaches of whoever eats it.

"I cook all the dishes with fish, " she notes, " soup, fried dishes, and the majority with quinoa." Her business is successful because fish is very popular in the area. The advantage of her business is that the fish is caught locally; the disadvantage is the lack of a stove and gas cylinder for cooking. Carolina's dream is to earn more money for her family. She wishes to buy a stove and gas cylinder for cooking her fish dishes. This is her first loan with this institution in the twelve years she's had her business.