A loan of $6,950 helped a member to buy food for her cows and fertilizer to grow strawberries.

Los Girasoles Group's story

Anita is 32 years old. When she was a little girl her parents instilled in her a love of the earth and taught her how to work with it. Now, Anita is part of the group called Los Girasoles (in English: Sunflowers), which happen to be one of Anita's favorite flowers. As a young girl, Anita's parents taught her how to work on the land. Later, since she had not found any other steady job, she decided to dedicate herself to farming.

For the last 11 years, Anita has worked growing strawberries because she owns a wide plot of land that she doesn't want to waste. She also works selling milk. Anita has eight milking cows that she wakes up early each day to milk. She sells their milk to various families in her community and in a nearby town.

Anita says that, "Thanks to the loans that I have received from VisionFund, my business has improved, my cows are in better condition, and I have been able to grow more strawberries. Before, my earnings were not enough to sow more and to buy the fertilizers needed to grow them." Now, Anita is requesting a loan in order to improve her strawberry crop and to buy fertilizers to help them grow. She will also buy food, vitamins, and de-wormers for her milk cows in order to produce more milk. Currently, she gets about 250 liters each day because she cannot milk all of the cows at once. She must let them rest so they will produce more milk.

Anita's goal is to increase the number of customers she serves. She would like to have a permanent spot in the market in her community where she could also make and sell cheeses, creams, sweet buns, and other dairy products.

The other 15 members of Los Girasoles are Graciela, Sofía, Gabriela, Paulina, Ysabel, Felipa, Sofía Salguero, Verónica, Teresa, Itxe Ivette, María Guadalupe, Juana, Ma. Remedios, Raquel y Mariana. They will use their portions of the loan to stock a grocery store; to buy clothing and shoes to sell; to buy regional sweets, seasonal fruits and vegetables; to buy materials to make work gloves; for vehicle alterations; to obtain second-hand clothing; to buy perfumes and cosmetics to sell; and to buy chicken to sell by the pound.

In this group: Graciela, Sofía, Gabriela, Paulina*, Ysabel, Felipa, Sofía, Anita, Verónica, Teresa, Itxe Ivette*, María Guadalupe, Juana, Ma Remedios, Raquel, Mariana
*not pictured

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ellen Craven

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