A loan of $1,075 helped to buy fish and shellfish to increase sales.

Maria Fernanda's story

Since she was a child, Maria has learned about the life of working on the street, traveling long distances from when the sun comes up. Her mother worked in selling seafood to support her household. Now, Maria is 29 and, thanks to that effort, finished her secondary studies. Also, she has had to assume the challenge of being a single mother that, for the well-being of her two children of 8 and 3 years old, has not hesitated to work every day of her life to be able to provide to her children what is necessary for them to perform their best in school and kindergarten, respectively.

She lives with her children in Quinindé, a canton in the Esmeraldas province, which provides products like banana, cacao, coffee, African palm, and forest products to various cities of Ecuador. Furthermore, commerce is the daily work of the majority of its inhabitants to be able to come out ahead, and even more so when they widened the streets used travel to this canton. This has allowed great commercial movement, especially on weekends, when traders of all types go out to sell their products in the market to potential customers who are usually farmers. Tourism also is a very important contribution to this canton. Its natural ecosystem has a large variety of places to be visited: waterfalls, sweet water rivers, and forests, which have flowers and animals that adorn this city. Each family from this place makes an effort to find all the alternatives to improve their quality of life, because of which one can speak of an entrepreneurial canton.

Maria has dedicated herself fully to the sale of fish and shellfish for two years. She possesses an adequate car to be able to traverse the streets of her city, providing to the homemakers this food that provides protein and vitamins to the body, and furthermore is in demand for being a healthy meat.

Maria is applying for a loan to be able to buy more products that she can offer to her customers and in addition meet the demand of those who, in finishing the working day, she cannot serve because of the lack of fish or shellfish. This mother makes an effort every day to do a good job and thus not lack any necessities for her children. Maria receives help from her mother in this business, and it is her dream to one day be able to buy her own home, one that offers comfort and well-being to her family. Maria is very happy for the support and backing that Fundación Alternativa and Kiva give to her business. In many occasions, the principle obstacle to grow was the lack of capital.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Sarah Tyler

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