A loan of $1,125 helped to buy seeds and fertilizer for his crops.

Roberto Marcelo's story

Roberto, 32, has a primary school education. Due to his family's lack of financial resources, they could not support him to continue his studies, so he helped his parents with the farm labor. He later worked to support his own family, because at a young age he decided to establish a home with his partner, Marcia, 25. They have two children together, who are studying in a public primary school.

Roberto lives with his family in Quinindé, a canton in the province of Esmeraldas which provides products such as bananas, cocoa, coffee, African palm, and forest products to various cities in Ecuador. Commerce makes up the daily work for the majority of the canton's inhabitants, allowing them to move ahead. This is especially true now that the routes to the canton have increased, allowing for a great volume of trade movement, particularly on the weekends when all kinds of traders come out to the fairs to offer products to potential clients, who are often farmers. Tourism is also a very important contribution to the canton, because its natural ecosystem offers a great variety of places to visit such as waterfalls, freshwater rivers, forests, and the flowers and animals that one can see in the city.

Roberto has worked in cocoa production for 20 years. The lack of employment led him to specialize in this fruit, which he later trades. He learned about the business from his family when he was a child. He invests many hours every day in this labor, which he inherited from several relatives who worked in the same business.

Roberto dreams of seeing his children become professionals, because he was not able to do so. Therefore, he works hard every day so that they lack nothing for their studies. With the experience he has gained in production as well as trade, Roberto would like to expand his farmlands. Therefore, he needs this loan to buy seeds, fertilizer, and some tools to maintain his crops in perfect condition. This responsible man is grateful for the advice and credibility of the Fundación Alternativa, and he motivates the Kiva lenders to leave that grain of sand which entrepreneurs like him need so badly. Many times, stagnation results from a lack of capital which is sometimes impossible to achieve.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Amy Volz

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