A loan of $1,300 helped to purchase supplies for her coffee crop, and to pay field laborers.

Lilian Suyapa's story

Lilian is 37 years old. She graduated from secondary school with a degree in administration, but was unable to continue studying after high school because at that young age she started caring for her household and began tending to the coffee crop with her husband, who also owns a mechanic shop. Even between the two businesses their income is not very steady, because the location of the mechanic is not very good.

A few years after [finishing school], Lilian got pregnant and had her son, who is now 10 years old and in 6th grade at the local school.

Lilian works with her husband in the coffee fields. His family has worked in agriculture, mostly coffee, for many generations, and he taught Lilian to work the fields. They cultivate coffee and basic grains, but only sell the coffee and use the basic grains for personal consumption. During harvest time they also feed their family members and neighbors who come to help her husband harvest the coffee. Sometimes they even bring people in from other areas.

Their zone is very well-suited for coffee cultivation, and coffee is the only sure form of employment in the area. Both Lilian and her husband put a lot of effort into ensuring that they don't have to work anybody else's land. The land they cultivate is their own, and it was inherited from her husband's parents. Their home is constructed right on the land.

Lilian hopes that their son, and any future children, will be able to study and fulfill her dream of preparing themselves academically, since she was not able to do so herself. She also dreams of maintaining and growing their crop. Because the likelihood of disease is so high, her goal is to plant the entire property with a type of coffee that is more resistant to fungus, such as the "90" and the "lempira". This way she'll be able to leave the children with a piece of land without problems. Because jobs are scarce, having this land, and a place to live, will give them economic security and a better quality of life.

Lilian requests a loan to invest in the maintenance and care of the coffee crops, because after the harvest season the plants remain uncared for. She wants to buy fertilizers and urea to fertilize the plantation. She will also prune the older and damaged plants, giving them a good cleaning. To do all this she needs capital, especially to hire labor.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Kati Mayfield

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