A loan of $850 helped to purchase commercial feed and supplies for raising her animals.

Maria Auxiliadora's story

María is a 57-year-old woman. She had no schooling because of the scarcity of resources in her home. She got married when she was very young to Felipe who is now 63 and who works for himself in farming. They no longer have dependents since all their children are grown and independent. María was born in Chone but many years ago went to live the Santo Domingo hamlet of the province of Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas. Santo Domingo connects the Sierra Region with the Coastal Region of Ecuador. The city has become a commercial corridor with a number of growing industries, and as proof, there are various entrepreneurial families who some years ago began their own businesses and now are micro-business owners who help generate employment. Studies reveal that the majority of the businesses began out of hands-on experience and have caught on due to the travel of tourists, business persons and travelers from region to region; furthermore, it is the third-most inhabited city in the country. María resides in the Puerto Limón Parish of this hamlet, a place which was inhabited by a tsáchila community and has a number of tourist attractions although it is quite far from the city. In addition, the great majority of the inhabitants of this parish work in crop farming and animal husbandry.

Three years ago María was devoting herself solely to household tasks. However, concern for her future in later years took hold in her, and so she decided to contribute also to the sustenance of her home selling pigs and chickens, an activity she she tends to in the mornings, afternoons and sometimes at night when special precautions must be taken on account of weather conditions. Now she has applied for her first loan which will be used to purchase commercial feed and supplies so her animals may have the diet and necessary care that would allow them to grow healthy and strong, which makes them more desirable in the marketplace. María has tried to take out loans at various institutions and banks where unfortunately they have refused to grant the money, owing to the difficulty in visiting the client in the highly isolated rural area where she lives. Nevertheless María kept on fighting tirelessly and, thanks to the involvement of Kiva with Fundación Alternativa, she is happy because she can take the first step towards growing her business and so maintain some savings against chance events that might arise in her and her husband's old age.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Meg Wolfe-Roberts

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