Innovative Solutions out of Poverty

Our Board members and a few staff with Carmen outside her home which she has been able to invest in with a Home Improvement Loan

Our Board members and a few staff with Carmen outside her home which she has been able to invest in with a Home Improvement Loan

Last month, Adelante’s Board got a chance to visit a few clients of ours outside of La Ceiba. Not only did they get a glimpse into the lives of our clients, they also got a chance to make a few purchases for themselves! The trip started with a visit to Carmen’s home, where she produces delicious sweet breads and pastries that her husband later carries out to the market. Having already tried her pan de piña on a previous visit, I warned a few members ahead of time that it would be hard to buy just one. Carmen’s home improvement project continues to be a work in progress, and our Board marveled at how well she is able to manage her business from such a small working space.

Filena makes these decorative flowers out of recycled aluminum cans to then sell for a profit.

Filena makes these decorative flowers out of recycled aluminum cans to then sell for a profit.

After leaving with plenty of fresh breads, several members joked about what other products they would get to buy at the next client’s home. Fortunately for them, Filena is one of our most creative clients. Filena engages in several business activities which she carries out from her home in a rural area outside of the city. She makes and sells flowers made from recycled aluminum cans, jewelry and crocheted clothing and decorations for the home.

Filena invests her loans in purchasing her materials and is always hard at work to create beautiful pieces. Her determination is paying off for her, as she is making progress in improving her family’s standard of living. She is now a recipient of Adelante’s Home Improvement Loan product for about $1,490. Her creative style made for great souvenirs for our Board Members, giving her a boost in her day’s profits. With such numerous skills, I was shockedd to learn that Filena’s talents are all self-taught, developed on her own through perseverance and commitment to improving her family’s standard of living. Thanks to the business loans that Filena has taken out with Adelante over the years along with assemblies every two weeks, she has been able to expand upon her business ideas to handle a much larger loan than an average Adelante loan.

Blanca shows off earrings and other jewelry that she makes from home.

Blanca shows off earrings and other jewelry that she makes from home.

Our last client visit of the day followed the trend of empowered women producing goods from their homes. Blanca makes and sells jewelry, crochet and flower arrangements at home outside of Jutiapa, presenting our Board members with another souveneir opportunity. Each of these three women have worked hard to identify and develop their own skills to get their families ahead.

This Friday is International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate all that women are, the advances we have made and what we need to continue moving forward. On March 8, Adelante will be celebrating Carmen, Filena, Blanca and the thousands of other women who have taken on the challenge of leaving poverty behind by investing in their own businesses. Their innovative solutions in the face of poverty are an inspiration to everyone at Adelante.

Are you interested in supporting this content, as well as taking on grant research and writing responsibilities and campaign development as our Development Intern? Check out our posting here and apply!

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