A loan of $1,075 helped para comprar mesas y sillas que le permitan recibir mas clientes para incrementar sus ventas.

Maria Isabel's story

María Isabel is a thirty-eight-year-old woman, who, when she was young, did not succeed in continuing on to university studies and completed her studies after high school. She's divorced and has had to get ahead with four children who she's sending to school so that one day they'll become professionals. She lives in the Pastaza canton, located in the province of the same name, in the Amazon region of the Republic of Ecuador.

The capital of the canton is the city of Puyo, located in the middle of the of the Amazon jungle in the western portion of Pastaza Province and is at 924m above sea level. The population is small, but there is a wide variety of areas preferred by domestic and international tourists, primarily for ecological activities and extreme sports. It's a city that is growing by the day economically due to commerce, livestock, agriculture, and tourism, and so financial and commercial companies have established branches to take advantage of the economic activity the city supports. Competition among small-business people is very stiff, yet they all offer up their added value in order to win clients' favor.

María Isabel has sought out ways to give her children a good education and the quality of life they deserve, so she has invested ten years running a small restaurant where she offers fast food and traditional food, waiting to earn a profitable reward. Her father taught her how to run this kind of business and she's very grateful to him, because, thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit she inherited from him, she improves the business every year. Even when the business was robbed and left her with nothing, she was not defeated, and has even looked for other alternative to make money, like catalog clothing sales.

So often, Marías clients order the dishes she prepares, but have to be served without the comfort of tables and chairs because the few tables the restaurant has are always filled. That's why María is seeking loan, so she can buy furniture to outfit her restaurant with the comfort clients demand. She found Fundación Alternativa to be the best option for getting a loan, because the institution concerns itself with helping people overcome poverty by provides lending advice and facilitating loans. María Isabel hopes that, with the investment, her sales will multiply and her business will generate more profits that she can reinvest to improve her and her children's lifestyle.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Jill Heske

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