A loan of $900 helped to purchase an additional dairy cow and grow his dairy business.

José Andrei's story

Jose is a young man of 21 years, he is still single and lives with his mother. The community where Jose lives is called El Sauce de Santa Teresita de Turrialba, in the province of Cartago. It's a small rural community with approximately 2000 residents. The people of the community work primarily in dairy (milk production) and cultivating coffee. The terrain is a bit rough and the climate is that of a tropical forest. There are many picturesqe paths running through the area which combine the tropical forest with two pretty lakes, as well as coffee plantations and dairies. El Sauce is located about an hour and a half by bus from Turrialba, the closest commercial center. However, during various times of the year the roads are not passable due to the rains. This is without a doubt one of the main disadvantages for the community.

When there is no work in the community, many people opt to leave to find work in Turrialba, or on banana farms located in the Atlantic zone of Costa Rica. The prices of coffee and milk have gone up lately, so more people are trying to work on projects in the same area, instead of having to migrate away. To help with the economic situation, two years ago the Association of Milk Producers set up a cheese factory in the community. Now Jose, who works in milk production, can sell his dairy products to the cheese factory.

The cheese of the region where Jose lives is famous in all of Costa Rica. It's a fresh cheese that is tradionally known as "cheese of Turrialba". The "Ticos" (which is what they call the people of Costa Rica), like this cheese a lot and you will often find it at meal time accompanying many other types of food, especially at breakfast. They also eat it with tortillas, rice, beans,eggs, amongst other dishes. For this reason, the demand for this cheese is very strong.

Jose would like a loan, to be repaid in 24 months, in order to buy another dairy cow and increase his production of milk. He knows that an additional cow requires a lot of work and sacrifice for both himself and his mother, who helps him with the work. Still, his desire to run his own successful business and continue to improve the quality of life for his family are a great motivation for him.

Jose is a member of the Association of Producers of El Sauce, a local organization associated with the microfinance organization EDESA. Thanks to his affiliation with this organization, he has obtained two loans which he has already successfully repaid.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Emily Charnes

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