A loan of $650 helped to expand her business into a restaurant.


Lourdes Consuelo's story

Lourdes, 22, grew up in a low-income family so she finished elementary school. She started working at a very young age helping at home, and learned several jobs that she currently gets by on. She's single and has a two-year-old son who has become her reason to get ahead without allowing herself to be distracted by obstacles. She lives with her sister Rosa, who works as a private employee, in the city of Atuntaqui in the province of Imbabura in the north of Ecuador. Atuntaqui is a place with a lot of historical sites for those who visit as well as a delicious cuisine that's the favorite of many people in the country. Another well-known activity in the canton is textiles, because industrial and artisanal clothing design has become an industry that contributes sustained growth to the city. The garments made there are preferred nationally and internationally for their different quality and designs. The dry and temperate climate is agreeable, which helps keep the land fertile and appropriate for growing grains and vegetables. With all these opportunities in Atuntaqui, the city is considered an important center of production in Ecuador, something that wouldn't be possible without the strength and enterprising spirit of the residents, who also generate jobs for families in the province. Lourdes started her business a year ago. She sells "salchipapas," a fast food of fried potatoes and sausages that's very popular with young people and adults. She learned the job from some relatives and devotes six hours every day to it. After she cleans her utensils and her small space, she begins to sell fruits and vegetables retail. Lourdes hopes to expand her space someday and convert it into a restaurant for customers who enjoy her flavors. She has requested a loan to begin to make some repairs to her locale and make it more attractive for her customers. She'll also buy some tools and utensils to facilitate her work. This way she'll be able to dedicate more time to her child and earn profits that will give her a better lifestyle. Lourdes is grateful to those who support her cause through Kiva and have believed in entrepreneurs such as herself. When asked why she got the loan from Fundación Alternativa she said she's very satisfied with the ease, flexibility, trust, and personal counseling they gave her there.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Catharine Wall



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