A loan of $575 helped to buy fruitcakes to sell.

Luisa Teresa's story

Luisa Teresa is 62, and has the spirit of a young woman of 20. She is very charming, and has the energy that many young people would like to have. She lives in Ica, Peru.

Ica is located in the Sechura Desert, around four hours south of Lima, the country's capital. It is celebrated by Peruvians as "The Land of the Sun." It is known in Peru for its frequent earthquakes (one 8.0 in 2007, and 6.9 in 2011), for its production of grapes, asparagus, and olives, and perhaps especially as the source of Pisco, the traditional national drink of Peru. The home and business of the client is located in this warm and dry climate.

In her spare time, Luisa really enjoys visiting her family and having unforgetable times. As is well known, Peru is notable for having some of the best food in the world, and one of the dishes that Luisa really likes is "Pato con Tau-si" (duck cooked Chinese-style).

She would have really enjoyed being able to study agronomy, but due to her lack of income, she wasn't able to afford the degree she wanted so much. But with the passage of time, she found a business opportunity that allowed her to have another livelihood.

Luisa sells raspadillas (shaved ice), which is crushed ice to which a kind of sweetener is added, and chicha morada, a soft drink made from purple corn. She does this work for approximately seven hours daily. She worked with her father from a young age, and this is why she felt like having this kind of business.

In a day, Luisa can serve from 30 to 40 people, and this allows her to earn an average of approximately 55 soles daily; on a good day she can earn up to 75 soles, and this helps her with a few additional expenses.

Luisa thinks her business is successful because her customers feel satisfied, and always come back to her business. Luisa is very grateful to the Kiva lenders, since with the help she has been provided, she will be able to tackle a new business idea, which consists of buying fruitcakes, made from a base of sweet cake and candied fruit, to sell at her business for the Christmas season.

This improvement will help her have another product to sell, and take advantage of sales during Christmas and New Year's. She will also invest part of the loan in a few products that she needs for her raspadilla stand. This combination of effort and investment will allow Luisa to have her own shop within a few months, and fulfill her great dream, "to have a restaurant."

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Jeff Goldie

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