A loan of $775 helped to purchase machetes, axes, shovels, and boots.

Maria's story

María is 40 years old; she is a cheerful and enterprising woman. She has her own house where she lives together with her partner Pedro, who works in agriculture planting plantains, cassava, oranges, limes, etc. Her children are already independent; each one lives in their own house.

María’s work consists of selling dried “Shebón” leaves, which is a type of palm that’s used as roofs for houses in the communities, and also in sheds for raising chickens. She carries out her sales of these leaves in front of her own home. She started out in this business because there were abundant Shebón palms on her neighbor’s farm; then, she had the idea to earn money selling these leaves, which were sought after by those who raised chickens. She does this work in partnership with her neighbor, who offers her the leaves at a low price; she then resells them to her customers.

She’s been in this business for 4 years. She says that her work is profitable because in these times, consumption of chicken is increasing. This causes the farmers to build more sheds, and this increases her sales of leaves. Before beginning this work, she did not have the sufficient capital to open her own business. She helped her partner with agriculture until she had enough support capital.

She wishes to stay in this business and increase her sales, removing plenty of leaves to supply her customers and generate more economic earnings. Therefore, this will be her 5th loan with the organization MFP. She is grateful because they give her the opportunity to get ahead in her work. She feels good in her group, since they are all kind and respectful.

With the requested loan of 2000 soles, she will use it as capital for her business; also, she will purchase tools for the removal of these Shebón leaves, such as machetes, axes, shovels, and boots, etc. With the aid of these materials, she will be able to remove more leaves and her earnings will increase.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Caroline Hedel

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