A loan of $525 helped to buy a new industrial gas stove for her business.

Maria Dolores's story

María Dolores is 45 years old. She worked from an early age because financial need did not allow her to continue preparing for high school. She was born in Pelileo where she finished primary school, but later she left that city looking for better opportunities. She has two children, one of whom is an adult and has an independent life and the other lives under her care and is a student.

María Dolores is single and has given her children education and support, thanks to her daily work and efforts. Currently she lives with her younger son in the parish of Chigüilpe, some 15 minutes from the center of Santo Domingo, the capital city of the province of Santo Domingo de los Tsáchilas, a place that has an active trade as it has become a land port of exchange between the mountain ranges and the coast of Ecuador.

This parish has several houses of cement and of wood mixed with cement. It has a much visited river where tourists and residents practice various sports and they have the opportunity of getting to know the culture of Tsáchila through legends related to visitors at campfires. Santo Domingo is the third most populous city of the region, and also contributes in the areas of agriculture, livestock, fishing and manufacturing.

María Dolores took advantage of her talent for preparing delicious typical food, and opened a food stand outside her home 14 years ago. Many of her customers recommend her in the neighborhood, as the flavors are delicious and all of her dishes, stuffed potato patties served with peanut sauce, slow roasted pork, and grilled beef tripes, etc., are greatly desired dishes all over Ecuador.

This woman has had problems with her stove. She has been working for many years every day from the early hours of morning until after the sun goes down, and she has maintained it, but all the same, she believes that everything would be better with a new stove.

When she wanted to go ahead with the work, she could not find easy financing, as there are many hoops to jump through in order to be granted credit. In this search she found Fundación Alternativa who with the help of Kiva could grant her a loan which will be part of the growth of her business and so María Dolores enriches her quality of life and that of her daughter. Upon hearing about Kiva’s methodology she expressed her thankfulness and sent many greetings and blessings to people around the world making dreams possible for so many micro-entrepreneurs like her.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Gail LeGrand

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