A loan of $1,075 helped to buy naranjilla plants and fertilizer.

Juan Cruz's story

Juan is a 44 year-old man who lives with his family in the Milpe precinct of Los Bancos, a canton in the province of Pichincha. The area around this canton holds an important natural resource, the "Mindo Nambillo" Protective Forest. A large area of the canton is covered by grasslands, and the principal economic activity there is cattle-raising. People in the canton also farm palm heart, sugarcane, bananas, and naranjillas over smaller areas.

This gentleman works planting naranjilla, an exotic fruit that is typical of the region. He has been working independently for eight years, and explains that he learned this type of work from his family and has been doing it his whole life. He also comments that work in the fields is difficult and that he has endured inclement weather, like strong rains, and generally faced the challenges of the countryside. This is his second loan through Fundación Alternativa and he is pleased by the ease with which he has been able to obtain economic resources for his business. He would like to expand his planting and in order to do so, he needs plants and fertilizer. One impediment is that he does not own the land he cultivates, so he has to rent it. Nevertheless, he is sure that producing more will improve his quality of life.

His greatest dream is to have his own land, and he knows that his current efforts will bring him closer to achieving that.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Katie Kavanagh

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