A loan of $1,075 helped to buy plums and mangos.

Maricela Del Rocio's story

Maricela is a 20-year-old young woman. She finished secondary school. She's single and has a child, age 3. It has been very hard for her to raise her child alone, but he has become an inspiration every day for her to get ahead in her job.

They live in Pastaza, a canton located in the province of the same name, in the Amazon region of the Republic of Ecuador. The canton seat is the city of Puyo, located in the middle of the Amazon jungle in the west of Pastaza Province at 924 meters above sea level. Demographically it's small, but there's a wide variety of sites preferred by Ecuadorian and international tourists, especially for ecological and extreme sports activities.

It's a city that grows economically every day because of commerce, livestock, agriculture, and tourism. For this reason branches of banks and businesses have been established to make the most of the economic activity here. In every business there are people who, faced with the lack of jobs, have not given up but rather have undertaken ideas for businesses to have a decent life and make their dreams come true.

Maricela started selling fruits and vegetables on foot when she was pregnant, about four years ago. The possibility of continuing to study had disappeared, first because of her scarce financial resources and then because of the arrival of her child. Nevertheless, in spite of the obstacles, she has gotten ahead with her life. She works ten hours every day. Her job consists of sorting, cleaning, and selling fruits and vegetables. When she goes out to sell she stays in strategic locations in neighborhoods where housewives shop. She learned this business from her parents and now manages it very well.

In this season, tropical fruits such as plums and mangos appear in the market and are in high demand among her customers. This is why Maricela needs a loan to stock her business with a quantity of these fruits and earn more income to give her son decent lifestyle. She also wants to maintain savings she can use in the future for her son's education, to give him a profession, which she herself didn't have the opportunity to have.

Maricela is grateful to Fundación Alternativa, which adroitly and trustingly gave her the loan and the counseling to manage and carry out her business well.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Catharine Wall

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