Total loan: $7,600

Quetzal Group

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Zitacuaro, Estado de Michoacán., Mich., Mexico / Food

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A loan helped to buy supplies and ingredients to make hand-made tortillas.

Quetzal Group's story

María Concepción, 38, says that a girlfriend invited her some months ago to become part of a group called “Quetzal” that asks for loans to improve their businesses. Conchita, like she’s affectionately called, has worked for the last three years making hand-made tortillas since she had no job because she never went to school and it’s hard for her to get a job since she doesn’t know how to read or write. She never attended school because her parents didn’t have enough to pay for school supplies. This is why Concepción decided to open her own business to help her husband with their children’s expenses since what he earns as an employee isn’t enough. She relates that at first it was difficult to get customers because there are other people who sell tortillas but now she has her own customers because she makes tortillas 100% of corn and people like that because the tortillas last a little longer and taste better. She rises very early every day to start the ‘nixtamal’ [maize boiled in lime water] and then take it to be ground into dough to make tortillas. She uses a clay griddle and firewood because she says the tortillas taste better that way. She relates that she’s asking for this loan to buy corn, firewood, lime powder and another griddle because they only last three months because of all the use they get and this material is also more delicate. Conchita’s goal is to have more customers and to get a stand in the wholesale food market in a town nearby so she can earn higher profits. The other group members are called Anastasia, Maribel, María del Pueblito, Nohelí Alejandra, Maricela, Virginia, Martha Isabel and Norma Edith. They will invest in their businesses which are: Mexican fast-food snacks like tacos, ‘pambazos’ [bread filled with chorizo and potatoes and dipped in red chili sauce], quesadillas [flour tortilla filled with cheese and other ingredients], and others, grocery store, moving and storage vehicle repair, costume jewelry making, materials and supplies to make embroidered napkins and seasonal fruit and vegetable sales.