A loan of $450 helped to buy foodstuffs wholesale.

Mara Cecilia's story

Mara Cecilia R. A. is a hard-working woman who lives in El Bosque neighborhood, in the tourist city of Cartagena. She lives with her husband and two children aged 16 and 12. Mara makes and sells lunches to employees and workmen on construction sites. Before she started this business, she used to wash and iron people's clothes in their homes but one of her customers once suggested that she make some lunches for some extra workmen who had been hired in a nearby company and she accepted. Mara's business did so well that she managed to make in just one day what she normally made in three days of washing and ironing.

Mara currently makes 70% of her household's income. Her business is located in her home which allows her to be near her family all day. However, next year she plans to rent premises so that she can make her small business more independent and work more comfortably. Mara sells an average of 30 lunches at 4,000 Colombian pesos each. Her average profit margin is 40%. In order to make her deliveries on time she had to hire her sister to help her chop vegetables and cure the meat.

This is the first loan that Mara has taken from Fundación Mario Santo Domingo and she will invest all of it in buying foodstuffs wholesale so that she can obtain discounts by buying in bulk and paying cash. Mara says that the success of her business lies in the quality of her meals because she prepares them with a lot of fresh vegetables which gives them an original touch. They never harm anyone. Her most requested dish is coconut rice with fried fish, fried plantain slices and avocado salad. This is the flagship dish of the beautiful city of Cartagena.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details