Aida has been with Adelante for five years now and has been happy to slowly increase her loan amounts over the course of more than eleven loans with us! She lives in her own home with her husband, her daughter and two of her grandchildren. Five other children live in the country while two more have left for the United States. She cares for all five of her grandchildren as if they were her own children and is particularly responsible for the two that live with her.
Due to the fact that her daughter has a disability which prevents her from raising her children, Aida and her husband have assumed economic responsibility for their 4 and 5 year old grandchildren, as well as for their daughter. Although her eight children are all grown between the ages of 21 and 36, its clear that her financial commitments expand beyond her and her husband’s needs. The rest of her children are already married and working hard to provide for their own families.
Aida began her own business around the same time she became involved with Adelante. Prior to doing so, Aida worked for 25 years selling lottery tickets by traveling around the nearby communities. Without loans from Adelante, Aida and her husband would not have been able to grow the inventory of their store and support the growing needs of their extended family, such as primary school expenses for their grandchildren. On the weekends, Aida continues to sell lottery tickets as she has done in the past while her husband attends to the store. When he is not busy at the store, her husband works on the small parcel of land that they own to grow corn, beans and cassava. The majority of what is harvested is for their own consumption but they also sell any surplus for extra income.
Aida’s entrepreneurial spirit has been further demonstrated by the several loans she has taken out with us. She uses her loans to stock her convenience store. Her very first loan with Adelante was for only L500 or about $26. After five years of working with Adelante she has been able to gradually increase her loan amounts and of course, grow her business. Her most recent loan was for L12,030 or $633. These loans have made a significant impact in her life by enabling her to earn more income and enjoy an improved quality of life.
Since Aida began her business she has also worked with other microcredit institutions. However, she says that she prefers to work with Adelante because our loan process is much simpler than others. This makes a significant difference for micro entrepreneurs who wish to develop a profitable business but are limited by loan requirements or confusing processes.
Aida tells me that although times have become more difficult now, she is thankful for the loans and her husband’s support, which allow her to make progress each day. She hopes in the future to be able to take out a Home Improvement Loan. Aida says that any home improvements would begin with her kitchen, which has a dirt floor. Her enthusiasm for home improvement loans is unsurprising, as many of our clients have expressed interest in them since we began offering these loans last year. Her success in establishing her own convenience store after more than two decades of selling lottery tickets demonstrates the dedication and perseverance that is common among our clients.