A loan of $950 helped a member new merchandise for home decorating and accessories store.

Pasos Firmes Group 3's story

Maria F. is 39 years old and owns her own home decorating and accessories business in the sugarcane community (called a "batey") of La Gina, which lies in the eastern part of the Dominican Republic. Today Maria will take out a new loan - her seventh one to date with Kiva and Esperanza International - so she can buy new merchandise, such as bedsheets, curtains, tablecoths, silverware, artificial flowers, and assorted ceramic decorative pieces for her store. Once her loan is funded, Maria will travel over three hours by bus to buy her merchandise in the capital city of Santo Domingo, and she will then sell her wares in her own community and in neighboring bateys.

The revenues from Maria's in-home enterprise are crucial to the well-being of her family. Along with her husband's earnings from cultivating and harvesting sugarcane, Maria's business supports six dependents, including four of her own children (ages 18, 16, and 15) and two nephews (ages 7 and 4). All of Maria's children attend school, and she hopes to be able to send them to the university some day. Maria recognizes the connection between the success of her business and the opportunities available to her children. She hopes her business will grow so that her children and nephews might have a better life. Currently, opportunities for socioeconomic mobility in the batey communities are scarce. The bateys are generally geographically isolated, and, because a majority of batey residents are of Haitian descent, they often face great challenges obtaining citizenship and other political rights in the Dominican Republic.

Maria is a member of Group 3 in the Pasos Firmes (Solid Steps) Bank of Hope. In the accompanying photograph of the borrowers in Pasos Firmes Group 3, she is second from the right.

In this group: Maria, Nina, Jiliena, Matilde, Maria

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details