A loan of $1,650 helped to stock up her shop.

Judith Elena's story

Judith is a 51-year-old woman. Due to a lack of economic resources, her parents were only able to support her through primary school. Since she was little she has contributed to the household chores, and she was very young when she married. Her husband Nelson, 53, works as a professional chauffeur. The couple do not have any children living at home. They live in Latacunga, a place which has a number of attractions for national and international tourists, including the city's historical centre, which has been considered part of Ecuador's cultural heritage for nearly 30 years and is capital of one of the provinces of Ecuador's Sierra region, and the Cotopaxi volcano. In recent years, the city has developed considerably and is now considered one of the most important in the region, thanks to the flower, mineral, metal, agriculture and farming industries. There are also several businesses generating significant revenue, helping to convert the city into a commercial centre with opportunities for people to get ahead. Despite a poverty rate of over 50%, people have looked for a way to move forward and to make their ideas a reality.

For 20 years, Judith has run a convenience store which is open from very early in the morning to the evening, for 10 hours or more every day. When she has free time in her shop, she makes extra money by sewing. Judith wants to stock up her shop with new products which will generate a better income and attract more customers. Her biggest difficulty has been bureaucracy; financial institutions have put various obstacles in the way of her getting the loan she wants to use to expand her business to sell first aid products and sweets. Therefore, Judith has asked for a loan from Fundación Alternativa, with whom she found the reliability, flexibility and openness she had been looking for. She is thankful to Kiva for enabling people around the world to be part of her dream. Judith hopes that she will be able to use the additional income to support her children, who at times struggle economically, and she would also like to reinvest in her business by buying new merchandise.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Eleanor Brown

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