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A loan of $850 helped to pay university fees.

Maria Isabel's story

Maria, 42, lives in Malambo with her three children who range in age from 7 to 20. She is a native of Tolima, a "departamento" in western Colombia. She moved from her home there to the city of Barranquilla in 1997 and started her first business, a store, that she operated in Barranquilla to 2002 when she moved the business to Malambo. She sells everyday products including soft drinks, dairy products, cold cuts, etc. She has borrowed from Fundacion Mario Santo Domingo 12 times before and the loans have allowed her to grow the business and build a house. She has used the loans to stock her business, buy equipment and fittings, and pay for a business license. Maria is very disciplined. She has an excellent reputation for managing her finances and no effort is too much for her when it comes to providing for her family. She built a house and now she's turning her attention to preparing her three childrent for professional careers. She is applying for her first Kiva loan and she will use the funds from the loan to invest in her son's education, an education that he needs to support his plans for a successful professional career. Maria's challenge is to succeed day in and day out to ensure the wellbeing of her family, a special challenge for a female head-of-household. The business has allowed her to meet that challenge.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Jere Wiseman

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