SILVIA

BUSINESS: Coffee Growing & Harvesting

TIME WITH ADELANTE: 2 Years

DEPARTMENT: Intibucá

It takes over three hours to get out to Silvia’s tiny village from La Esperanza, the hub of the Western Highlands in Intibucá, but it is well worth the journey.

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“I have suggested to other women the benefits of working with Adelante. You learn so much. You learn how to manage your loans. If you don’t have the funds you can’t learn how to manage them. You can have good ideas and ambition but until you have the funds you cannot learn how to use them”

Silvia, a soft spoken woman of about four and a half feet tall, has grown immensely as an entrepreneur in her time with Adelante. Support rarely comes to her isolated village, so when she discovered Adelante from a neighboring village two years ago, she could not believe the opportunity in reach. “I never had any help from anyone before Adelante. It has helped us so much!”

After creating a detailed investment plan, Silvia used her first $136 Business Loan towards a corner store, stocking up on sugar and a few other goods not available in her village. She had a few loyal customers who would stop by on their way down the winding roads and through the lush trees toward her village. However, this was not her true passion, and although she saw her income start to grow, Silvia knew she could make a better investment. When she heard of the Adelante Agricultural Loan pilot in October 2014, Silvia knew what that investment would be. She had enjoyed growing coffee and plantains on a very small scale, and now she was ready to expand her farming activities into a business endeavor.

Silvia took out a $226 Agricultural Loan and dove right in – purchasing seeds, compost, and fertilizers. She was able to expand her agricultural activities to bring in higher earnings for her family and a greater payment capacity to take out her second Agricultural Loan of $362 in May.

Although the majority of Silvia’s profits have stemmed from coffee, she has also been able to provide better nutrition for her family by growing other crops. “We eat what we grow,” she says. “ Our family enjoys plantains and vegetables. Now I just have to buy sugar and milk, that’s all!”

Silvia has blossomed as an entrepreneur, a farmer, and an empowered member of Adelante. “I have suggested to other women the benefits of working with Adelante. You learn so much. You learn how to manage your loans. If you don’t have the funds you can’t learn how to manage them.  You can have good ideas and ambition but until you have the funds you cannot learn how to use them.” By sharing her success story with other women in surrounding rural areas, Silvia has spread opportunity to more enterprising women and their families for a better, healthier future.