A loan of $900 helped to purchase a small refrigeration device.


Maria's story

Maria has lived her whole life in the presence of fish. Her father was a fisherman, and caught trout in the local rivers near Trujillo, Peru, where she grew up. When she turned 20 years old, Maria opened a small “cevicheria,” adjacent to her home, and served the trout, cooked without heat by marinating the meat in limejuice. Seven years ago, her husband abandoned her for another woman, and Maria was left to care for her 3 children alone.

Deciding to make a fresh start, Maria moved to Ayacucho, Peru, where she had distant relatives. She used her savings to rent a counter section at the central market, where she sells her ceviche and sodas to up to 50 customers a day. She can be found at her stall, which is equipped with a sink and preparation area, 7 days a week, from about 9 am until quite late at night, or until her supply of fish runs out. Dressed in the traditional white chef hat and apron, Maria exudes experience and professionalism. A steady stream of customers visits her kiosk, and business really picks up during the lunch hour. She serves a generous portion of the diced fish, with potatoes, onions, and a lettuce garnish.

For her next loan, Maria hopes to receive US$500. For now, her stall is modestly equipped with the most basic utilities. She would use the money from this loan for a small refrigeration device that she could install under the preparation counter. For now, Maria must store the fish, which comes frozen twice a week from Lima, at her home, and prepare the ceviche there as well. With refrigeration at her kiosk she would not have to carry the heavy dishes to work, and would be able to avoid the risk of running out of food on a busy day.

Maria V. belongs to a village bank called “Ayni” which is a quechua (native language) word that means “I help you now, you help me later”. So Maria has friends in her village bank like Benita Sierra. Maria and Benita are expecting together a total loan of US$ 900.



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