A loan of $500 helped to buy cosmetics, perfume, and women's clothing.

Maria Esperanza's story

María, 48, has lived in the city for six years. Her family's from a rural area, so it was very hard for her to go to school, and she only completed up to sixth grade. She got married and had five children, three males and two females; her daughters still live with her. Her husband had to emigrate to the United States, where he has lived for six years.

María has been making floral arrangements with recycled materials for approximately four years. She learned this job when she saw a display in the capital of her country. It caught her attention and since then she has perfected her technique. She also sells cosmetics, clothing, and perfume.

She'll use the loan to buy cosmetics, perfume, and women's clothing. She'll make her purchases in the capital, located two hours away by bus from where she lives. This investment will increase her sales because of the variety of products, giving her more income to get ahead with her daughters.

María's personal goal is to set up a workshop and use recycled materials to make artificial flowers. This way she'll be able to give her daughters the opportunity to get a college education.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Catharine Wall

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