A loan of $1,075 helped to buy used metal and materials for making new pieces.

Jose Leodan's story

José is a 30-year-old man. He is single and grew up in a home with few economic resources, so he had to start working at a very young age in order to help with the household costs. Because of this, he was only able to finish elementary school and has had to get by with this limited education in the various jobs he has taken on. He currently lives in the Rio Verde de Santo Domingo parish, the capital of the province of Santo Domingo de los Tsachilas, a city that has considerable business enterprises because it has become a place of exchange between the coast and the highlands. The several tourist attractions, as well as the hot climate, are a major draw for tourists from Ecuador and around the world. The majority of the residents have some sort of business enterprise or provide services for residents and tourists.
After a long career in business, José decided to start a business doing what he had learned to do as a career: to be a blacksmith. He has done this work for seven years now. He loves his job. Seeing that no one uses old metal that is nothing more than scrap for many people, José puts it into the fire and uses his creativity to create pieces that serve to decorate homes. He is very proud of his finished pieces, and this motivates him to continue expanding his business. However, as in all jobs, there is a health risk because of the metal residues he is exposed to, and because of the temperature changes. Because of this, some time ago José suffered an accident that made it impossible for him to work for several months. However, once he recovered, he started again with new motivations.
His dream is to establish a store where he will be able to sell pieces he has made with his own hands. He is working hard to reach this dream. He will start with this loan, which he will invest in the purchase of metal, scraps, and tools which will allow him to increase production and thus expand his clientele. This step will get him closer to his dream. José is grateful to the Fundación Alternativa for opening its doors to him so that he can expand his business, and also for believing in the dreams of people in rural areas. He also thanks the Kiva lenders all over the world for their contribution to countries' development.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Christine Cooper

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