A loan of $200 helped buy carbonated soft drinks, candies and sweets to start a small business.


Maria De La Cruz's story

Maria is 48 years old, did not go to school, is single, and has 5 kids who are all in relationships. She lives only with her youngest son, who is 11 years old and goes to school.

Maria gathers clams for a living (curiles), and has done so for 34 years. She inherited this line of work from her family, and it's currently how she gets her daily sustenance. The mangrove swamp where they collect the clams is 2 kilometers from her home, and they go there in a boat. Her workday schedule involves getting up at 5:00 AM to make breakfast for her and her son, leaving for work at 6:00 AM, getting back at 11:00 AM, and then doing chores around the house, such as washing laundry, sweeping, cleaning, etc.

She'll use the loan to buy carbonated soft drinks, candies and sweets as she wants to start a small business selling these kinds of goods, but will always continue to gather clams to sell as well.

Maria's dream is to be able to improve her home and help her son prepare himself academically.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Ian Hamel.



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