Lidia Maura has been an Adelante client for five loan cycles now, or about 3 years. Her most recent loan was for L4,600 ($234). Although she has spent her life selling vegetables in rural communities outside of Tocoa in the department of Colon, she previously spent her days traveling all day to make her sales. Now, thanks to the help of Adelante, Lidia has her own stall in a popular local market, working from 6:00 in the morning until 4:00 in the afternoon.
Her five children, between the ages of 28 and 43, are now independent so she lives alone with her husband. During my visit she told me that she does not have the same concerns as the other women have who are still raising children, grandchildren or nieces and nephews. She tells me, “I’m old now and my only hope is just to finish the last years that God has given me comfortably.” Lidia’s satisfaction with Adelante is what drove her to invite her daughter, Lia Isabel into her assembly.
The assembly meeting that I visited was Lia’s very first with Adelante and she spoke with hope for a better future for her own two daughters. Although her husband works hard every day at his own job, Lia’s family has struggled a lot just to get by. When I asked her if there’s anything she would like others to know about her, she told me this, “We suffer a lot, we don’t have a house, we don’t have anything to call our own but we continue fighting.” Lia is optimistic about her new opportunity with Adelante. With her first loan, she plans to start up her own business selling clothing. We hope to see her progress as she works to provide greater opportunities for her two daughters who are two and four years old.
Lidia and Lia’s story is seen replicated throughout many assemblies, with mothers, daughters, aunts, nieces and cousins sharing with each other the opportunity to improve the standard of living of themselves and their entire family. One such client who has shared with her daughter the benefits of her loans with Adelante is Reyna, who lives in a rural community outside of La Ceiba. Reyna has had six loans with us, starting at L3,000 ($152). She has slowly grown her business selling clothing so that she can now take out loans for L5,250 ($266). Although this amount may still seem small to some, it makes a big difference for Reyna, who never had a full time job before. She says that she would occasionally wash clothing for local families for a small fee and do other small chores but that she could not provide a steady income to supplement her husband’s work as a day laborer.
Reyna’s youngest daughter is not a client of Adelante. However, her mother’s work is what inspired her to choose to study Business Administration as her career track at the local high school. She hopes to help her mother out and eventually have her own business someday.For now, Reyna just wants her daughter to stay in school and continue studying hard.
Reyna’s story demonstrates exactly how Adelante loans have a ripple effect, positively impacting those who live with and around the clients. While her daughter can learn the theories behind business administration in school, she can see firsthand the realities of running your own small business from her mother. The business education that Reyna, Lidia, Lia and the rest of our clients receive twice a month does not stop with them: The knowledge they acquire is passed to their friends and family, even if they are not Adelante clients.