The smell of fresh bread is in the air and Maira is hard at work producing more! Maira makes her freshly baked bread every day for her customers, mainly friends and neighbors from within her own community in the department of Colón. She also runs a small convenience store from her home, as well as renting out her five horses to customers to carry loads or as a form of transportation. Friends and neighbors are an incredibly important part of the success of Adelante clients, as local interdependence is necessary in such rural parts of Honduras.
In the one bedroom home that she rents, Maira lives with her six children between the ages of four and 16. Although transportation for all of her children is costly and can be difficult, she is proud to say that all of her children are in school, with her youngest starting kindergarten. Between school fees and transportation, costs can vary week to week but can reach up to $4 per child per week. Although this might seem minimal at first, with six children this adds up to almost $100 a month. To reduce costs, her older children ride her horses to school when they are available.
Maira started her small businesses with her own savings but uses Adelante loans to expand upon them. Her most recent loan of $167 was used toward the purchase of two horses, in addition to the three that she already had. As we chatted in her fellow assembly member’s home, she glanced over to Amada’s cooler and expressed one of dreams for the future, “I want to buy a new cooler. Mine doesn’t work anymore so I can’t sell items like these that Amada can sell. This will help me to earn more money.”
However, without her own cooler, Maira will continue to fuel the economic success of her assembly members’ own businesses. Amada is a 68 year old client who lives next door to the assembly meeting place. She also runs her own convenience store but unlike Maira, is able to sell topogigios (a popular frozen juice) and other perishable goods. After the meeting, Maira bought a guanábana flavored topogigio from Amada and noted that Amada and her other fellow assembly members buy her fresh bread and other products from her convenience store. The women commented that with the variance in the products they offer, they are able to buy from each other and stimulate the local economy.
Amada and Maira are wonderful examples of what Adelante is working so hard to achieve, and that is both independence and interdependence within the communities we are working in. There is nothing more amazing than watching these incredibly hard-working women inspire their families and encourage others to join them in their success!
To read more about Maira and Amada’s community and the journey that their Credit Officer takes to get there, subscribe to our monthly newsletter to receive the coming November issue!