Although this is an individual loan, the community in which Lorena 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 Upala 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 Habanero peppers. Specifically, the loan will be used to finance the purchase of a variety of necessary agricultural nutrients, fertilizers and chemicals in order to ensure a healthy harvest. All labor and logistical tasks associated with production will be carried out by Lorena with the help of her family members in the region of Upala. The production cycle (from planting to harvest) for these types of peppers is roughly one year. Lorena expects to harvest in the next eight months. Typically, she dedicates the hours from 7AM to 4PM everyday to her agricultural activities.
Piper and Capiscum Processors Compañía Agrícola Industrial (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 Upala, thus ensuring that their products will reach market.
The main obstacle Lorena and other producers in the Upala community face is a lack of access to working capital funds. The collaboration of Fundación Mujer and PROPICA represents a unique opportunity to Lorena, 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, Lorena wants to take advantage of the current opportunity that has been presented. She wants to profit from this collaboration and see improvements in her home and neighborhood.
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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.
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