A loan of $900 helped to buy merchandise for retail business.

Maria Del Socorro's story

María, 58, is from La Trinidad in the Nicaraguan province of Esteli. She moved to the town of Esteli when she was 3 years old. She's a single mother with 4 children, all now grown. Maria has been a merchant for 30 years. At first, she sold ice, buying plastic bags that she packed with ice and sold on. Now she sells clothing, cosmetics, shoes, silver jewelry, etc. Before starting the business, she was a social worker at the hospital in Esteli for 10 years. In those days, she used to go to Guatemala and bring back perfumes, silver jewelry, etc. that she then sold to her co-workers. The money that she earned allowed her to better support her children. Now she goes to Panama where she buys products such as cosmetics, clothing, shoes, purses and jewelry. She sells on both the wholesale and retail markets. She also gets t-shirts from a son in Costa Rica.
Maria is applying for a loan so that she can buy other products such as cell phones. She's never sold cell phones before but she can see that they're an everday product now, something that everyone needs. She hopes the loan will help her attract new customers and expand her business. Keeping her business stocked with merchandise will help her create jobs for others, too. In the future, she wants to build a shop that she can rent out and ultimately could provide her a place to live as she gets older. Her next goal, though, is finish building an addition to her house for her clothing and shoes business.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Jere Wiseman

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