A loan of $1,325 helped to buy catalog merchandise: colognes, creams, deodorants, shampoos, that her customers have ordered.

Clara Celmira's story

Clara is a 55-year-old merchant who lives with her companion and her adult daughter in Villa Estadio barrio in the municipality of Soledad. Some 10 years ago, the couple became unemployed and decided to find an alternative means to generate income.

Initially, with money they received for their work termination, they traveled to the municipality of Maicao, Guajira department, a frontier zone where many merchants go to purchase groceries and non-perishable food products at favorable prices to later sell at retail, mainly among barrio residents, friends, and acquaintances.

Little by little, Clara acquired new customers who came soliciting all kinds of different articles, including food, clothing, shoes, and domestic electrical appliances, among others. She extended credit for up to 45 days, a means of selling that they still employ. Last June, she made her 1st loan request but it expired due to time limits.

Now, once again, Clara is applying for a loan, her 1st from Kiva. The funds will be used to purchase catalog items (colognes, creams, deodorants, shampoos) solicited by her customers. Her business is a family affair, organized so that each member is in charge of a segment of customers, thus assuring good attention.

Clara's dedication and efforts have been fundamental factors in reaching her goals, turning difficulties into an opportunity to get ahead. One of her short term objectives is to complete construction of her house, for which she has been working in recent years alongside her family. She feels very satisfied and grateful for all that she has been able to achieve up to the present.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Harold Dana Sims, PhD

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