A loan of $1,475 helped to buy farming supplies in order to grow beets.

Marlen Xiomara's story

Marlen is thirty-three years old. She studied through high school and graduated with a beauty technician degree. She is thankful to God for all the blessings that He has given to both her and her family. She works independently and set up a small hair salon in her community thanks to the efforts and sacrifice she has made together with her husband; they have been married for two years. Her husband helps her out with the farm work while she is at the beauty salon. They specialize in growing chayote, and together they want to begin growing beets in order to diversify and offer more products to their clients. As a couple, they still do not have any children; they want to make good income first so that they may give their future children a good life and a good education. Both Marlen and her husband come from very humble and perseverant families.

The products that Marlen sells are very popular because of their quality. She is able to sell more during festive seasons and weekends, since it is a custom in many families to buy vegetables on the weekends to give great flavor to the weekend soups. Her greatest challenges are plant diseases and low prices. Competition is not a problem for her since she feels that her customers have been with her for a long time and are therefore faithful to her; they also appreciate the transparency with which Marlen conducts her business.

One of Marlen's advantages is that her crops are located close to her house, which allows her to offer a greater level of attention and technical assistance to her crops and to avoid losing crops to disease, deterioration, and thieves.

Her plan is to grow production by buying more land in order to grow on a larger scale. This will permit her to supply the local markets, to generate greater profits, and to save money so that she can ensure a stable economic situation for her future children.

For these reasons, she is requesting financing in order to grow her beet crops, preparing the land so that it is well-suited for beets while also improving her chayote crops. Presently, Marlen and her husband make the plant nurseries in the earth. Because they are lacking funds, they have not bought the small boxes that would allow them to transplant the seedlings without damaging the roots or plants.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Christina Mellace

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