A loan of $350 helped to purchase thread, wool, hammock fabric, and paints to make handcrafts to order.

Zoila Ines's story

Zoila, 44 years old, lives in the city of Barranquilla with her partner and her two children, aged 13 and 17. There she has a small workshop for woven bags and handcrafts made from totumo wood and country-style wood. She learned handcrafting from the time she was very young, because she comes from a family of artisans who work sculpting totumo wood (the fruit of this bush) to sell. Her main products are women's accessories and woven backpacks. She also added another business, which is the production and sale of hayacas, flour or rice dough with meat and vegetables wrapped in leaves from the bijao plant.

She sells directly to her customers, who are neighbors and referrals. They generate income that supports her family's well-being. Her goal for the future is to have a workshop to shape the next generation of artisans that will one day export many of these products to the world with the quality necessary for the globalized market. Currently she is applying for a Kiva loan, which is her first financing with the Fundación Mario Santo Domingo. Through it, she will buy thread, wool, hammock fabric, and paints to make handcrafts to order. She also needs to buy supplies to sell Christmas cakes and hayacas such as flour, rice, oil, salt, vegetables, and meat products. She anticipates that her Kiva loan will be a good multipliable investment, because she will do it during one of the most commercial seasons of the year, where everything merchants and producers offer goes quickly in the market at a time when a lot of money changes hands.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Karen Monat

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