A loan of $1,075 helped to buy cacao and passion fruit seeds and inputs for their production.


Carlos Alberto's story

Carlos, 26, went to high school. He has two children, ages 5 and 3, with whom he lives in La Concordia, a canton in the province of Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas which used to be part of the province of Esmeraldas. It's considered a strong region for agriculture and export of products like African palm, macadamia nuts, and palm hearts, which bring in more than $300 million dollars in this canton alone. Tourism is also part of the economy, as the locals in the visited areas take advantage of the tourists to sell all kinds of products, with businesses like restaurants, stores, pharmacies, clothing stores, tours, etc on every corner. Nevertheless, in winter a lot of the land and plantations are affected by the strong and inevitable rains that arrive here. The losses that they are facing in this season of the year are often irreparable, since many families live in structures made of sugar cane that are too week to resist the torrential rains.

In spite of this, the residents of this canton will not give up, and they will keep working to make up for the losses as much as possible, looking for opportunities to get ahead in some way. They are widely considered to be determined people, like Carlos, who grows passion fruit and cacao which are very sought-after at a national and international level. He has been doing this for two years and has acquired a lot of experience, above all because he works at least 8 hours a day planting, harvesting, preserving, fumigating and caring for the crops. His father taught him to earn a living this way, and helps him as he is able. Carlos feels prepared to take his business a step further and believes it's possible to increase his income by buying seeds and inputs that will let him increase his production and therefore the supply for his customers.

For that reason he has asked for a loan from Fundacion Alternativa, so that he can take this next stop. The Foundation attends to him with a lot of charisma and agility, which gave him confidence and also a sense of protection from the very useful trainings for local small businesses. With the extra income, Carlos wants to start saving to buy a larger piece of land in the future where he can increase his crops and thus give his children a better education and quality of life.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Mary Berghaus



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