A loan of $900 helped to purchase bean and corn seeds and fertilizers.

Martin's story

Martín V. A. is 42. He lives with his wife and 3 children: Gustavo, Jason, and Estiven. Don Martín makes a living through agriculture, and his whole family helps him a little during planting and harvesting seasons. The area where Martín lives is called El Sauce de Santa Teresita de Turrialba. It's a small rural community with 2,000 people. They are dedicated to agriculture and dairy operations. El Sauce has an irregular landscape, and much of the land is mantained as tropical forests. The community has very picturesque landscapes which combine the tropical forest with lovely lakes, coffee plantations, and dairy farms. El Sauce is approximately an hour and a half from Turrialba by bus, the closest city. Several times a year, the road becomes impassable because of the rains that fall in the area. This is without a doubt one of the biggest challenges for the community. When there isn't any work, the people choose to look for jobs in Turrialba or on banana farms located in the Atlantic region of Costa Rica.

Currently the prices of coffee and milk have improved, so the neighbors are looking to invest in projects in their area. Martín has 1.2 hectares, on which he plants different crops like corn, beans, plantains, and coffee. He has been dedicated to agriculture for 27 years. During this time, he has had seasons that have gone very well and others when he has had to battle problems such as bad prices or natual phenomenons that damage his crops. He obtained his land through a small loan. Previously he had to rent land to sow his crops.

Don Martín is a client of the Association of Producers in El Sauce, a local organization that is a member of the microfinance institution EDESA. Thanks to his connections with this organization, he has already obtained six microcredits, and all of them have been paid back satisfactorily. The amounts of the loans have increased from 100,000 colones (180 USD) to 250,000 (450 USD) colones. Currently don Martín needs a loan of 500,000 (900 USD) colones to purchase seeds and fertilizer.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Tanya Harper

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