A loan of $1,200 helped to purchase various catalogue products to offer for sale.

Cristina María's story

María, age 39, lives in Isla de Chira, Costa Rica. She lives with her husband and their daughter, who is currently attending high school.

María has a business selling catalogue items door-to-door in her community. She offers potential clients items such as colognes, cosmetics, underwear, and jewelry in an effort to make a contribution to the family income. María's husband earns a living as a fisherman when he can, but often the fishing season is restricted, forcing him to find other types of work in order to meet the familiy's basic financial needs.

María plans to use this loan to finance the purchase of various catalogue products. She has already collected the orders from clients in her community. All she requires now is the working capital with which to purchase the items she intends to sell. In order to make these purchases, María must travel by boat to Puntarenas, across the Nicoya Gulf, which takes about two hours each way.

María is a hard-working, ambitious entrepreneur. She organizes her day in order to optimize her productivity. In the mornings, she carries out the domestic tasks at home and sends her daughter to school. When María travels to Puntarenas, she wakes up at 4 a.m. because the boat leaves at 6 a.m. and the walk from her home to where the boat leaves is long. In the afternoons, she visits her clients and collects orders. At night, María attends night school, where she is in the process of completing her high school certificate.

María's goals are to increase her client base and to gain clients in all parts of the Isla de Chira, the island where she lives. She hopes to be able to finance the studies of her daughter in the future. María says her main obstacle is the competition she faces from other vendors. She doesn't let this deter her, though, because she says ¨there is sufficient diversity in products.¨

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