A loan of $1,525 helped to buy incubator bags to grow her seta mushrooms.


Celia's story

Celia is a very cheerful woman, always telling jokes. She finds the kind and funny side to everything, but she is also a very hardworking person. She lives in a very developed community that is divided into blocks. The residents of the community are friendly. Most of them grow corn and others have different businesses, such as stores.

Celia is 39 years old. She has been married for 19 years to Francisco. Together they have made a family with three children. Two of them go to elementary school. Celia has grown seta mushrooms for 8 years. Celia remarked “I like to grow my seta mushrooms because my mother grew mushrooms. It was a very good business, so that was how I decided to start growing seta mushrooms. Although it is a business that requires a lot of work, I like it a lot." This time, she is asking for a loan to buy fifty units of incubator bags to buy the mushrooms. The loan will help her buy the bags, as they are a little expensive. Celia took some courses to learn how to improve at growing mushrooms. She talked a little about how she prepares them. First, she needs a ton of chopped grass. She wets the grass in water. It has to be really wet. If it is 70% water it expands well and if water is dripping it means it has all the water it needs. She pushes it all together like a mattress and covers it really well with a black tarp. She lets this sit for an entire day. The third day she moves it and covers it well again. The seventh day the grass is sterilized with steam. The result is put into containers until the next day, when it can be put into the incubator bags. The grass in the bags has to weigh 14 kilos. They are left for 15 days and then put in a green house. This process is known as the production, and finally she just has to wait for the mushrooms to start to sprout from the bag. Then Celia has to harvest the seta mushrooms every third day to sell them. Every day, she has to get up at four in the morning to harvest them and take them freshly cut to the market to sell them in the plaza. Celia says that she already has regular customers. The business is going very well for her and she knows the process very well. The only problem she has is when the incubator bags start to get a brown color. That is bad news because no mushrooms will come out of that bag. Although this means a loss of profit and investment for Celia, it doesn't limit her because she is focused on her goal. Celia dreams of having more greenhouses and producing more mushrooms to increase her profits and help pay for the education of her three children.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ellen Donohue


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