A loan helped a member to buy a stove and a gas cylinder to replace what she has, in order to sell hot api (a traditional Andean drink).

6 De Agosto Group's story

Ruth is a thirty-six year old woman. She lives with her partner and has a one-year-old son, and two daughters aged 6 and 12. Her business is the sale of api (a traditional Andean drink).

She fights off bad moods and abuse through her attempt to find a better future life for those who, in her mind, have formed her best days. Her business is in the region of Palcoco, near to the sacred lake of Titicaca, where the inhabitants make there living mainly from agriculture, cattle raising and fishing.

Ruth, with just a word, can light up a room, her friendship breaks down loneliness, and with the gift of a smile, can melt the hardest of hearts (she is in the center, wearing the yellow sweater). She speaks Aymara like everyone else in the area, and speaks Spanish from general knowledge. She goes through life accompanied by her partner, who works as a farmer, and her children, who are at school. They live in their own home, which is made out of abobe, and which only has electricity given that there are no other services in the area.

The need to improve her business, the drive to feed her children, brought her to lead the group. The activities of the members are: pig-raising, agriculture, the sale of quinoa, alpaca wool blanket weaving, fishing, freeze-dried potato making, sheep-raising, and cheese production.

Ruth’s business is selling api, which is a typical drink of the Andean Altiplano. It is made from ground purple maize, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and is accompanied with buñuelos (cheese-filled dough fried in oil), cake (dough fried in oil), or llaucha (a cheese-filled turnover). It can also be served mixed with tojori ( a drink made from corn, cinnamon, and sugar), and white api, and is served very hot. It can be consumed at any time of the day, but usually, in the mornings, when the cold is intense. “I have been selling api since I was a child. My parents made their living the same way,” she says.

At the moment, she is working with a stove and a gas cylinder, which she uses for both cooking at home and for work. When this runs out, she has to manage to change it. If she does not do to it quickly, she is left without work. Her business is successful because it is the breakfast preferred by locals and by tourists. The advantage of her business is that the supplies are local. The disadvantage is the lack of a stove and gas cylinder to cook. Her dream is to improve her children’s future. She wants to buy a stove and a gas cylinder. This is the first sequence of loans with the institution in the ten years that she has been carrying out this occupation.

It is for these reasons that Ruth is seeking a loan to buy a stove and a gas cylinder to replace what she has, in order to sell hot api.

In this group: Jhoselyn Rosalin, Ruth Silvia, Victoria Veronica, Alicia, Maria, Daniel Isidro, Silvia Roxana, Olga Vicenta, Marisol

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Elaine Berry de Pulido.

This loan is special because:

It reaches rural borrowers in remote regions.

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