A loan of $3,525 helped a member rice, beans, plantains, and clothing.

El Progreso 1, 2, & 3 Group's story

Maria, 27, is a borrower who lives near San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic. She is the coordinator for her group, El Progreso (Progress), and her story is representative of the other borrowers in the group.

Maria, her husband, and their three children (ages five to twelve) live together with all of Maria’s extended family. They live in Batey Santa Lucia, a small community north of San Pedro. Bateyes are small rural communities built by sugar companies for their field workers. Bateyes are typically very hard to reach, have no potable water, and little to no electricity. Santa Lucia is a particularly small and isolated batey, but despite the difficulties, Maria makes the most out of her opportunities by selling clothing to her neighbors. Since the community is small and people need new clothing only so often, Maria will also use this loan to purchase food to cook meals for her friends and neighbors.

In sugarcane-based communities, during six months of the year there is little work to be done. This time is called “Tiempo Muerto”, or dead time. Maria says that it is during this time that she especially needs her business. Once “La Safra” (the harvest) starts, her family is not as desperate for income. She has smartly balanced her business around the growing season, taking out more money during Tiempo Muerto than during La Safra. With her smart business planning, Maria hopes to continue making profit to support her family and hopefully send her children to college. With your support she can do it, so thank you for lending!

In this group: Maria, Lomena, Clemiles, Rhut, Omena, Nancy, Aluxa, Maria, Elsa, Estefania*, Anita, Maria, Maria, Maria, Francia*
*not pictured

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