A loan of $725 helped to increase her supply of animals.

Elvia Maria's story

Elvia is 66 years old, and has been working since she was a young girl. She did not have access to secondary education, and decided to seek a means of providing for her own livelihood. She is married to Segundo, a farmer who is 71 years old. They formed a home together when they were young. Elvia lives with her husband and their daughter, who contributes to the home expenses. They live in the canton of Salcedo, located in the western part of Cotopaxi, one of the most important provinces of the mountain area of Ecuador. In Salcedo, there are various tourist attractions, like lagoons and spas, and they also offer extreme sports for adventurous tourists.

However, the main activity of the area is agriculture and, to a lesser extent, raising livestock. The agricultural products that are marketed the most in this area are seeds and grains like peas, beans, lentils, broad beans, and different types of fruits and vegetables. Milk and its derivatives are first dispersed internally, and the surplus is sent to the coastal region as processed products. Raising animals is also favorable in this town due to the pleasant climate. Despite these productive activities, there are worrying rates of illiteracy and poverty due to lack of basic needs, like a sewage system; only 25% of homes in this area have one.

For thirty years, Elvia has made a living raising domestic animals like guinea pigs, pigs, rabbits, chickens, quails, etc. She also grows tree tomatoes. She likes this work, and spends ten hours every day working while also performing household chores. Elvia has sufficient experience to grow her business little by little. However, the lack of financing opportunities has prevented her from supplying her business as she would like.

For this reason, she is now requesting a loan. She will buy at least one of each type of animal in order to increase her profits and thereby be able to contribute some money to the home expenses. She will also be able to have savings in order to cover health costs related to caring for herself as she gets older.

Elvia thanks the Fundación Alternativa for the opportunity they have offered her to give her business new growth, and for encouraging the Kiva investors to continue supporting the projects and efforts of the people of Latin America and the world.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Christina Mellace

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