A loan of $650 helped to buy seasonal fruit and vegetables.

Sandra Elizabeth's story

Among the challenges all Ecuadoreans face to overcome the threat of poverty day to day is Sandra, a 42-year-old woman with many stories to tell but what’s now of concern is her present and her and her daughters’ future who even though they are now adults Sandra still hopes to see them reach their dreams since for her it was difficult to complete her schooling for lack of economic resources and because she took on the role of father and mother for her siblings since they were orphaned at a young age. She’s currently divorced living with her youngest daughter, Diana, in the southern part of Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, specifically in Chillogallo. Until a short time ago, the southern section of Quito wasn’t much of a strong economic sector in the capital of the Republic of Ecuador. Now, it’s considered to be an economic strong point in the city’s economy. Enterprising families are found here that have struggled to stand out. It’s been a meeting point for natives and migrants from other cities and countries and for people from several provinces; it’s been rebuilt with broad streets.

Sandra started a fruit and vegetable business 12 years ago and one of the biggest obstacles she’s faced and one that meant a significant expenditure of money was when her oldest daughter was diagnosed with cancer which was treated and she’s now in stable health.

Sandra learned this activity from her aunt who taught her since she was a young girl about suppliers, accounts, etc. Sandra developed it for her siblings so that she could move them forward and later she did it for her children. It’s very hard work that requires physical effort to lift the boxes of fruit to sort them and even the schedule requires much willpower because Sandra invests at least 12 hours daily from the moment she starts at one a.m. and goes until one p.m. or even later.

Sandra is asking for help to get a loan to buy seasonal fruit that has high customer demand at wholesale. Extra income generated will be invested in her business’ growth and in her youngest daughter’s higher education. Sandra says that she hopes to leave a print on her daughters so that when they are completely fulfilled they’ll be sure to realize that their mother contributed to their getting there; this is why she’s even planning on getting training where she was trusted enough to be lent the money at Fundación Alternativa which is a Kiva intermediary that trains and strengthens entrepreneurs’ businesses aiming at lessening poverty in the country.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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