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María Teresa
María Teresa G. T., a 23-year-old pepper producer and mother of three, lives in the region of Coquital de Los Chiles de San Carlos, located in Northern Costa Rica. María is a dedicated mother and producer. She plans to focus her efforts on the planting and harvest of Tabasco peppers. María works in cooperation with her family to strike a balance between accomplishing the daily tasks associated with agricultural production and the completion of domestic responsibilities. The land they work is their own. María´s husband works at a local orange-producing factory as a harvesting laborer in order to supplement the family income. The money he earns helps pay bills for electricity and to buy food. The rural zone where María and her family live is one of the few places in Costa Rica without running water. The family must pump water from a nearby well as needed. María is working hard towards the sustenance of her family, striving to reap the maximum benefits from her land and labor.

Although this is an individual loan, the community in which María and her family live is very close-knit and interdependent. Neighbors help and support one another by sharing experiences and expertise acquired over the years. All individual members of the Coquital community are dedicated to the improvement of living conditions for the region as a whole.

This loan will be used to finance the production of tabasco peppers. Specifically, the loan will be used to finance the purchase of a variety of seedlings and necessary agricultural nutrients, fertilizers and chemicals in order to ensure a healthy harvest. All laborial and logistical tasks associated with production will be carried out by María with the help of her family members in the region of Coquital de Los Chiles, located in the Northern Region of Costa Rica. María will need roughly one year before her peppers will reach maturity and be ready for harvest.

Piper and Capiscum Processors Compañía Agrícola Industrial, or, PROPICA is an international buyer and seller of chili pepper and ground pepper products. In cooperation with Fundación Mujer, PROPICA has guaranteed to purchase the agricultural products (the peppers) that are to be produced with the help of this loan. PROPICA acts as a guaranteed client for small agricultural producers in the area of Coquital, thus ensuring that their products will reach market.

In general, the work day is divided into mornings and afternoons. In the morning, the domestic tasks are carried out such as cooking, cleaning and caring for younger siblings. Afternoons are generally dedicated to harvest and planting, working the land as needed.

The main factor that has stood in the way of increasing her production levels has been the Costa Rican government and various other institutions. Formal banks, lending agencies and government bodies have failed to recognize the producers of the Coquital region as legitimate producers, worthy of financial and governmental support and services.

The collaboration of Fundación Mujer and PROPICA represents a unique opportunity to María, her family and community. By offering a source of start-up capital, and a guaranteed client to purchase what is produced, this is a chance to improve family and community standards of living. Above all, María wants to take advantage of the current opportunity that has been presented. She wants to profit from this collaboration and see improvements in her neighborhood.

Additional Information

More information about this loan

In Costa Rica, funding for microfinance institutions is hard to come by, and many institutions find themselves having difficulty growing and reaching all the demand for loans that exist. Kiva works with Fundacion Mujer because it attends a very marginalized population in Costa Rica, with a specific focus on women. In addition to the loan, Fundacion Mujer provides specialized training programs for their borrowers on everything from computer classes to salon training. Because of the difficulty in obtaining capital in Costa Rica, Fundacion Mujer cannot serve all the women that need loans. Therefore Kiva plays a unique role in helping Fundacion Mujer grow its portfolio and reach borrowers it otherwise would not be able to.

About Fundacion Mujer:

Fundación Mujer is an organization specializing in the financial and personal development of female entrepreneurs in Costa Rica. They seek to reach underserved populations that may include indigenous communities, immigrants, refugees, victims of domestic violence or women living with HIV/AIDS. Fundación Mujer offers courses in both business and personal development, as well as training in concrete skills such as sewing and other crafts.

About Costa Rica

  • $12,900
    Average annual income
  • 8
    View loans »
    Costa Rica Loans Fundraising
  • $4,836,900
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 533.7
    Costa Rica Colones (CRC) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A loan of $1,025 helped María Teresa to purchase seedlings and nutrients necessary for the production of peppers.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
12 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Jun 11, 2010
Jun 18, 2010
Currency Exchange Loss:
Mar 24, 2011