A loan of $625 helped to buy staple foods such as rice, meat, crisps and snacks, drinks and other supplies.

Carmiña's story

Carmiña is 52 years old. She lives in Cartagena with her husband and she has 6 children ranging from 14 to 37 years old. She sells pies and skewered meat, generating an income which allows her to help with the household expenses.

Over the 11 years she has been in this business, Carmiña has learnt to make the right investments in keeping with the times and as such, her business has grown. She started out selling bread rolls, crisps and snacks outside the city's public transport terminals with her cousin. The bus conductors then asked her to sell pies as well, and these subsequently became her main product.

Carmiña's husband helps her to buy supplies while she is in charge of preparing the food and selling it. Everyday she chops vegetables, seasons the meat, and boils the water, adding a little salt. She then mixes the vegetable and meat together with rice or flour and wraps it in bijao tree leaves and ties each bundle with twine. It is cooked for several hours, after which it is unwrapped and fried.

Carmiña's pies are very well-cooked which is why her clients return time and again to buy them, especially for parties and at weekends. She also sells snacks, juices and drinks for cash or credit to restaurants and in the community where she lives.

Currently, she is applying for her first kiva loan with which she will buy wholesale staple goods such as rice, meat products, crisps and snacks, drinks and other supplies in order to meet demand for the end of the year. This is the time of year when she sells the most pies which means her kiva loan will be a success.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Christina Hewitt

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