A loan helped a member buy beeswax wholesale to make a large quantity of candles and open a store.

San Jorge Group's story

Elvira is a 43-year-old woman who is single with 2 children, ages 13 and 16. Her business is candle-making.

She is a good mother, independent, hard-working, persevering and very responsible. She does her work at a market in the Plan 3000 zone where homeless flood victims made their homes, 12 kilometers from the city center. The inhabitants arrived from the countryside and around the country and settled in this area, which today contains more than 20% of the total population. It is the poorest district. It has a warm, sub-tropical climate with daytime temperatures that vary between 21-35 degrees Centigrade.

Elvira is dark-skinned with gray-brown eyes, has long black hair that she wears tied back, and is short and stocky. Her native language is Guaraní, which she speaks at home, and she speaks Spanish in society and in her business transactions. (She is the second from the left, dressed in sky blue.) She lives with her 2 children, who both study in school. They live in their own house, which is made of sheet metal and wood, with a corrugated roof and dirt floor and has running water, electricity and sewer service.

Because she needs to cover her family's expenses, on this occasion she is leading the group in their application for a loan to improve their businesses. The members' businesses are: neighborhood store, butcher shop, sandwich shop, plaster crafts, drink stand, tire shop and sale of secondhand clothing. Her business is the making and sale of handcrafted candles. She specializes in eco-friendly candle-making from beeswax. The most common waxes used by her are: virgin beeswax (completely natural wax, harvested directly from the hive), sheets of virgin beeswax, yellow beeswax in pearls (filtered for higher quality), natural white beeswax (refined wax which has had the color and the honey scent removed). “Beeswax is the best because of its pleasant aroma and yellow color," she says.

The advantage of her business is that she has a clientele defined as "green"; the disadvantage is the lack of capital to buy the beeswax wholesale. Her dream is to produce wholesale and open a store and stop selling in the street. She hopes to buy beeswax wholesale to make a large quantity of candles and open a store. This is her fourth round of loans with this institution since she started this business 10 years ago.

That is why Elvira is requesting a loan to buy beeswax wholesale to make a large quantity of candles and open a store.

In this group: Elvira, Maria Teodora, Ruth, Isabel, Eddy Rosario, Anselma Lourdes, Flor Esperanz, Marco Antonio

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Joan Tuttle Vargas.

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