A loan of $875 helped buy a milking cow.

Esteban's story

Esteban M. S. is a 21 year old single man who currently lives with his parents and his grandmother. Esteban lives in the El Sauce de Santa Teresita Turrialba community in the Cargao province. It is a small rural community with approximately two thousand inhabitants. The community members work at milk production and planting coffee. The landscape is irregular, and much of the land is humid tropical rain forest. The community has very colorful scenery that combines the tropical rainforest with two pretty lakes, coffee plantations, and dairies. El Sauce is located approximately an hour and a half by bus from Turrialba, which is the closest commercial center. Nevertheless, several times a year the road becomes impossible to use because of the rains that batter the area. This is, without doubt, one of the biggest challenges for the area.

When there was no work, many people chose to leave to look for work in Turrialba or in banana farms located in the Atlántic zone of Costa Rica. Currently, the coffee and milk prices have improved. Therefore, the members of the neighborhood are looking for ways to invest in projects in their own zone in order to avoid emigrating.

As part of the solution to this situation, two years ago a cheese making plant was set up in the community. It is the property of the Association of Milk Producers of El Sauce. This motivated Esteban to set up milk production to later sell to the plant. His family has been in this business for a long time. That is why he has been able to pay attention to all of the necessary details. Over time he has received instructions from his family.

The cheese from the region where Elvin lives is famous throughout Costa Rica. It is a fresh cheese that is traditionally known as “queso tipo Turrialba” (Turrialba type of cheese). The “ticos” (inhabitants of Costa Rica) really like to eat this product, which you will find on their tables as an accompaniment to all types of food. For that reason, the market for the product is really good.

Esteban wants a loan for $500 to buy a milking cow in order to set up his business. He wants to be a successful entrepreneur and be able to help his family get ahead. That is one of the things that motivate him to put forth effort and work very hard.

Esteban is a member of the Association of Producers of El Sauce, one of the one hundred organizations belonging to the micro finance association Edesa. This will be his first loan, and he hopes to continue growing on a personal and economic level. Thanks to this type of organization and their means for facilitating loans, he can spend more time on productive activities.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ginny Kalish

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