A loan of $650 helped to purchase a stock of sandals, toys, outfits for little girls, and cosmetics.

Rosalba's story

Rosalba P. is well-known in the La Paz neighborhood (which is located in the southwest of Barranquilla) for her sense of solidarity with those around her. She began her business with 30,000 COP that her brother lent to her. With his loan she bought children’s underwear, women’s slips, and bed sheets. Her first customers were the teachers in the neighborhood and her neighbors. She bought these items in the market stalls located in market of Barranquilla and then sold them to people who requested them.

Rosabla began her association with the Fundación Mario Santo Domingo in the Solidarity Groups program 18 years ago. Her first loan with this organizations was for 30,000 COP, which she used to purchase a variety of merchandise and sold it to people recommended to her by her clients, with the idea of selling in greater volume, gaining more clients, and earning more income so she could repay the loan. Since that time she has received 26 loans, which she has repaid on time, and which have opened doors for her because of her excellent credit history. Having a business has meant for her, at a personal level, having autonomy, confidence, and the recognition of her family and the community. It has also allowed her to improve her housing conditions—when she first started her house was only one room. Now she has three bedrooms, a good floor, walls, and a covered kitchen and bathroom. Because of this she feels a special preference for the Foundation, which has accompanied her in this process.

Rosalba is a typically cheerful woman from the coast. She is a calm and oood person, which is how people who know her describe her. She learned to make natural balms for muscle pains and the neighbors look to her when they need help.

Her current business is the sale of merchandise by catalogs, based on the orders from her clients. However, she recently bought a vitrine case to store and exhibit items in her house. These are items that she hasn’t included in her request to her supplier and also some products which are left over for her when they don’t arrive on time for the customers. She wants to use this current loan of 1,300,000 COP to purchase a stock of sandals, toys, outfits for little girls, and cosmetics top ut in her vitrine. In this way she can begin to achieve her dream of having a variety store.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Jennifer Day

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