A loan of $575 helped to buy corn and firewood to make tortillas by hand.


Eleofina Cirila's story

Eleofina Cirila T. C. lives in the Amilcingo municipality, in Temoac in the state of Morelos, Mexico. She has a sixth grade education, and she has her elementary school certificate. She is 38 years old. She will use her loan to invest in her business of selling handmade tortillas. She will use the loan to buy corn and firewood. She has been in her business of selling handmade tortillas for two years. She and her sisters got together in order to set up the business as a way of having additional income for the family. They also sell cold cuts and “tlacoyos" (fried or toasted cakes made of masa stuffed with refried beans, cheese, fava beans, chicharron or other ingredients). They also fill orders for fiestas. Before she worked in this business she sold perfume by catalog from Avon and Fuller. As this did not go very well for her, her sister invited her to participate in the business of making tortillas. Every day she goes from her home to her work, which is approximately 20 minutes to her sister’s house in the center of Amilcingo. Her business is important because it helps with money for food and the household expenses. Her favorite part of the business is making the tortillas and working with her family because she sees her mother every day. It makes her very proud to work with her relatives and to share their lives everyday. Her usual customers are the neighbors in the area and in the town of Huazulco. They have an average of between 30 and 40 customers. She feels that her business is popular because people look for handmade tortillas a lot. One of the challenges that her business faces is the increase in tortilla shops, which makes her have a few less customers. She invests her earnings in the business by purchasing firewood and corn. In the future she plans to hire a worker to help her make her products. Eleofina lives in a common-law marriage with her husband. He does not work. Eleofina is the one that takes care of the household expenses. She has four children. Chayane, age 16, does not go to school or work. Iris, age 14, does not go to school. Ivan, age 12, does not go to school or work. Carina, age 10, attends elementary school. Only her daughter, Iris, participates in the business by helping her make tortillas. Her dream is for her children to have work for themselves. She is happy with the opportunity to receive a loan from Kiva and the Fundación Realidad. That way she will be able to achieve her goals. Also, she tells us that she is committed to paying punctually. Eleofina wants to tell Kiva and the Fundación Realidad, “Thanks for giving me this loan. Thanks to you we have this business. Thanks for the loans that have helped me so much.”

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ginny Kalish


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