A loan of $325 helped to buy soft drinks.

Hortencia's story

Hortencia Domínguez Ramírez lives in Moyotepec neighborhood, in the town of Ciudad Ayala, in the State of Morelos, Mexico. She is 61 years old and studied two years at elementary school. Her business is selling soft drinks (Coca Cola, Pepsi, Jarritos, etc.) and candy.

Hortencia started her business 12 years ago. She started her business when she bought her first refrigerator. She decided to sell soft drinks after one of her daughters held a religious celebration in her home. She had candy left over and she gave it to her mother to sell. Also, one of her children who went to the United States helped her, sending her money to invest in her business and to build her house with. With their help, she grew her business which she considers very important because her sales provide her with enough money to support herself and she doesn't have to go asking for money. She also feels great satisfaction because the money she spends is hers and she doesn't owe anybody anything. She is proud of the fact that, through her work, she has been able to tile her house roof and she has been able to build some small rooms that her husband, who is a builder, helped her with.

Hortensia's customers are mainly her neighbors and people who pass by. She serves, on average, 10 to 20 customers a day. One problem that she has faced is the increase in competition from the ladies in her town who also sell candy. Hortensia re-invests her profits back into her business, as well as using some to pay for food. She is planning to expand her business, putting another table outside her house and stocking more products such as cracklings (pork scratchings), candies and cookies. She tells us that another difficulty she faces is that, during the cold season, she doesn't sell as many soft drinks. However, she says that it is during this season that KIVA loans help her to get ahead in her business, improving her sales.

Hortensia has three children: 37 year-old Gabriela, 32 year-old Teresa and 23 year-old Isaías. Her daughters help her, giving her money to invest in her business whenever they can. She considers that her business has helped her a lot because when her daughters were studying she was able to pay for their transportation and school expenses. Hortensia's plans for the future are to finish off her bathroom and her kitchen, laying tiles. She would also like to install a sink in her kitchen so that she doesn't have to go out to the yard, especially during the cold season. She feels happy to be receiving this loan because, for her, it represents a great help in getting herself ahead in life on her own. She also tells us that she has never had problems making her repayments. Hortensia has a message for KIVA lenders: "I am very grateful that you are giving me this help since it lightens my burden during the season when sales are low".

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard

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