A loan of $1,000 helped buy seeds to plant potatoes.

Reynaldo's story

Reynaldo was born on January 6th, 1983, in the Santa Cruz forest. His father, Leonos, and his deceased mother, Pastora, started him working in agriculture. He works as a farmer in Surutu, which is 40 km from El Torno. El Torno is the fourth municipal section in the Santi Ivañez province in the Santa Cruz department. It is divided into four cantons with 65 rural communities. According to the 2002 census, the population is up to 40,000 inhabitants.

It is a young population made up of emigrants coming from the interior of the country, from the west, Quechuas, Aymaras, and people from the eastern valleys like the Autóctonas.

Santa Cruz can be characterized as having great social differences existing in the same area. Large “quintas”, property of landowners acquired in Santa Cruz, and people with greater power co-exist with the area’s own inhabitants who live in more modest houses (adobe with roofs made of palm fronds).

A difference exists between the populations of Santa Rita, Santa Marta 1, and Santa Marta 2. These places can be found on the border of the old road to Cochabamba. You can find houses there that are made of brick and tile along with more modest houses. There are also rural populations, which can be found towards the interior of the mountain. The houses there are solely made of adobe and palm fronds under more modest conditions. They do not have water or electrical services.

These populations can be found between 5 and 20 kilometers towards the interior (in the pastoral region the volunteers need to take care of). This pastoral zone is comprised of nine communities, which can be accessed by dirt roads. Sometimes trucks are used to be able to access the communities.

The population’s economy is based on agriculture, fishing, and growing fruit. People also work at extracting rocks, debris, and sand from the Piraí River, which surrounds the entire municipality. There is also great commercial activity, especially in El Torno. A market is set up in El Torno, and farm products are sold there.

He has his own house, and he is single. He takes everything he harvests to El Torno to sell. He goes on the week-ends due to the transportation problem. Transportation in the area is scarce. He will use the money from the loan to buy seeds to plant potatoes. He is a hard-working young man.

He is very grateful to Emprender and Kiva for the trust placed in him by granting him the loan.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ginny Kalish

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