A loan of $1,125 helped to buy cattle and increase his production.

Julio Cesar's story

Julio is a man of 56. He grew up in a country household where he received the support to complete his primary school. Later, they imparted to him the practical knowledge of work in everything related to agriculture. Currently he is married to Maria, who is 43 and works as a housewife and also helps Julio with the farmwork. They live alone in Salcedo canton, located in the eastern part of Cotopaxi, one of the most important provinces in the Ecuadorian highlands.

In Salcedo there are various tourist attractions such as lakes and beach resorts which offer extreme sports for adventurous tourists. However the main activity that is carried on in this town is agriculture, and it to a lesser extent cattle raising. The most important agricultural products are staples such as peas, beans, lentils, lima beans and also various fruits and vegetables. The production of milk and its byproducts supplies internal distribution and the excess is sent to the coastal region as processed products. Cattle raising is also well-suited to this area because of the pleasant climate which is enjoyed in the canton.

In spite of these productive activities, there are very worrisome indices of illiteracy and poverty, due unsatisfied basic needs such as sewage systems, which only 25% of the households have.

Julio learned farmwork from the time he was a child and later made it his everyday work so as to always be able to support his household. He has been 30 years sowing, harvesting and selling potatoes and chochos (a food legume) besides raising cattle for milk production. His wife is a great help in this activity as on the occasions when Julio goes out to sell, she feeds the animals or prepares the land where the crops are.

Julio spends at least six hours in his business and each time has the hope of seeing it grow. However the difficulty of obtaining credit for capitalizing the business has been very great and he has not been able to access loans from regular banks.

Thanks to the support, credibility, expeditious service and trust they offer at Fundación Alternativa, Julio has decided to request a loan which he will invest in the purchase of cattle for producing milk and for subsequent sale. Julio is enthusiastic because he will have the opportunity to see his business grow and with this generate greater profits which will allow him to offer him and his wife a better standard of living. In addition, it will allow them to have savings for meeting future health expenses and lack of work, both of which needs can arise with advanced age.

Julio is grateful to those who through Kiva can be part of this growth in his life, and encourages them to continue supporting the business ventures of people, who like him, dream of having a better quality of life in their households.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Jeff Goldie

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