A loan of $1,100 helped purchase grains.

Maria Hortencia's story

María is a native of Cuenca and lives along the road to Misicata, which is to the south of the city of Cuenca. She is 59 years old, widowed, and has 4 adult children who have their own responsibilities. She lives in her own home with her entire family. For 25 years, she has worked in the “12 de Abril” Market selling cooked items such as kidney beans, lima beans, corn, mote (corn stew), vegetable salad, lentils, mellocos (a local variety of potato), and roasted peas. She has a good customer base, and because of her products, she has been able to make new friends. Her food items sell for as little as $0.25 USD all the way up to $10 USD for 5 gallons. She works from 7am to 2-3pm, which are the same hours that the market is open.

In the evenings, María will simmer the harder grains, such as dried beans, and then will get up at 4am to cook the vegetables and other products that are tender. She said that she is used to this routine because she has been working this way for so long, or it could be that she doesn’t know how to work any differently at her age. She enjoys her work because she is always surrounded by her friends and doesn’t mind spending so much time away from home.

María is requesting a loan to buy grain, since prices are lower at the moment. She has been a member of Fundación Espoir for many years and has taken around 11 previous loans. At the moment, she is requesting $1100 USD and hopes that someday she will be able to use her own capital to keep her business going. Her goal is to have a larger vending location in the same line of business and also open a respectable restaurant.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ronan Reodica

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