A loan of $1,450 helped to buy greater quantities of rice and be able to save to have his own warehouse.

Leonel Benigno's story

Leonel is a man who was born in the warm part of Ecuador, in the town of Los Bancos, where he spent his childhood and, thanks to the effort of his parents, was able to complete primary school. He worked with his parents since he was very young, and he married, forming a household with two children, who are now attending a public school. With time, things did not go as he hoped, and he made the decision to separate from his wife. It was a very hard time for him and his family. In any case, it was overcome, and Leonel continued working so that his children would not lack for anything. Now Leonel lives in the Rio Verde parish, a historic part of Santo Domingo, the capital of the province of Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, a province of Ecuador that in recent years has had high sustained growth. Its capital is a city whose most attractive and eye-catching features are its delicious fruits and the gastronomy that is offered there. It also has considerable commerce, since it has become a terrestrial "port" for commercial exchange between the mountain and coastal regions of the country. In addition, it has various tourist attractions, which, accompanied by its warm climate, are much visited by national and foreign tourists. It is for this reason that the majority of its inhabitants have undertaken some commercial activity or service for local residents and tourists.

Leonel had relatives who had always worked in the wholesale distribution of rice to the stores, micro-markets, and warehouses both within and outside of the city. Leonel continued their example and has been working in this business for five years. He goes through the city and its outskirts offering his product and taking orders from his frequent customers. In the space in his rented house that he designated for his business, Leonel receives the product by the hundredweight and prepares it to go out through the city delivering it and also charging the customers. Leonel dreams of having his own house where he could build a warehouse for rice and some additional foodstuffs and thus be able to grow and give an example to other people. To achieve this dream, Leonel has proposed increasing his sales and creating some savings with the extra money that he receives. To do this, Leonel is applying for a loan that will be used 100% to place larger orders and to be able to meet the demands of his customers.

Leonel thanks those who through Kiva and Fundación Alternativa help him to finance his dreams and thus to be able to continue with the support of his children and some day see them become adults with excellent careers.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Pam McMurry

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