A loan of $550 helped to buy ingredients such as corn, husks for wrapping, and twine to tie up the products.

Ana's story

"Bollos" [rolls made of white corn] are a food of indigenous origin. They are handmade with corn dough and wrapped in corn husks and cooked or boiled. They are traditional and deeply rooted in the Caribbean coast of Colombia, where they are prepared and sold on the street by street vendors. Among them are women, with their unmistakable hawking, who are gradually being helped by loans and are achieving the growth of their businesses. They also get customers from stores in the neighborhood and stationary informal businesses outside or inside supermarkets.

This tradition came to be part of the daily chores of Ana, who is of Palenque ancestry and tradition. [Palenque is a Spanish Creole language.] She learned it from her mother and later got her best experience helping her sisters, who worked in the same business independently once their mother died. Currently, although they still work in the family home, they have their own families and work together, each one with her own customers, to support their households.

Ana is an enterprising woman who relies on her nephews for producing and distributing the rolls in six stores and one restaurant. She sells on credit in the morning and collects her money in the evening.

Ana finished high school and took degree courses in computer science and industrial machine operation. She dreams about being a professional nurse as well as about getting a quality university education for her children, so they can improve themselves and be very successful. This is exactly the goal of her persistent work, from which she wants to realize all her potential growth in machine equipment and generating employees.

Currently she is requesting a Kiva loan, the first financing she is getting from Fundación Mario Santo Domingo. With it she will buy ingredients such as corn, husks for wrapping, and twine to tie up the products.

Her success lies in being able to invest in larger quantities than normal, since she buys daily and this does not allow her to get the discounts characteristic of wholesale and cash purchases.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Catharine Wall

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