A loan of $1,500 helped to purchase agricultural products that help her to improve her coffee crops.

Irma Estela's story

Irma, like many people in her community, only finished her primary education because her parents lacked economic resources and in her youth she preferred to help her mother at home and her father in the fields. She is married and along with her husband makes a living cultivating coffee as a means to survive and cultivating basic grains to consume. This pair has four children who are already adults. One of them is a nurse but still lives under her parents’ roof. Her other children decided to study until the sixth grade of primary school and make a living working independently.

Irma Estela has worked for fifteen years cultivating coffee, a trade that she learned watching her father and that she developed over time. Her husband’s parents left them 14,000 square meters of land to cultivate and to be able to come out ahead. This land is located about ten minutes from their home when walking, a route that is difficult to cross since it is very steep. During harvest time, she and her husband are the ones take on the coffee harvest, a job that is very difficult for the two of them because of which they have to pay farmhands to complete this work. When the harvest period end, she sells the coffee to intermediaries who upset her a lot since they pay a lower price for the coffee on occasion, taking advantage of her necessity, and also some alter the scales so that the coffee weighs less.

Her goal is to increase and improve her crops and so help her children to come out ahead as great coffee producers with a higher standard of living. For this, she hopes to be supported to be able to reach her aspirations since her profits are invested into the cultivation of basic grains for her and her family’s consumption, which reduces her food expenses. She had to cut down many coffee plants when the blight attacked them, for which she needs financing to fertilize this new crop, which will increase her production since she will have a higher quantity of coffee plants. She comments that her highest necessity is to fertilize her crops to improve her income.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Sarah Tyler

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