A loan of $2,875 helped a member to purchase more materials for food-making.

Gaviotas Group's story

Maria Teodora, who is named after her grandmothers, is 48 years old and married. Her three children have all completed high school, which makes her very proud. For 12 years, Maria has been earning a living by selling food such as chuchitos (small corn tamales), bread with chicken, atole, toast, enchiladas, and other traditional foods of the region.

With hard work and determination, Maria was able to purchase a small store in the market two years ago, which she now operates from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. While her sales have increased, Maria depleted all of her savings in order to purchase the store. Looking for a small loan to be able to purchase more materials, Maria decided to join the Seagulls Trust Bank, comprised of seven members who have 29 children among them. Their businesses range from restaurants to veterinary assistance to tortilla-making. Like Maria, they are all striving to make a better life for their families.

Maria, who has expanded her product line to include purified water, sodas, smoothies and meals, hopes to one day have a larger store to accommodate more customers. "My group and I feel fortunate that people in other countries, who don't even know us, are willing to support us financially," said Maria. "Our families are benefiting, which is our goal. We can accomplish great things in our country if we have the support from others and we continue to work hard."

In this group: Flor De Maria, Glenda Patricia, Leticia Anabella, Magdalena, Maria, Maria Isabel, Maria Teodora

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