Our first loan

Trip Start Feb 29, 2008
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Flag of United States  , New Jersey
Saturday, March 1, 2008

The poor people in the United States live in middle-upper-class conditions of other countries and it is hard for us to imagine how poor people and areas are around the world. 
 
Imagine if you lived in utter poverty, no car, no safety net, and you have to find your own job. 
You cannot get a loan from the bank because you have no credit and you are not a good investment and if you do get a loan it will near 40% interest - almost impossible to pay off.  In order to get a micro-loan you have to
a)      Find out about micro-loans in the first place
b)      Find out who gives out micro-loans in your area (no phone or internet)
c)      Drag yourself to the offices to apply (lose a day of work, transportation costs, child care etc.)
d)      Get qualified
e)      Have the organization visit you
f)        Go through money management classes
 
This is not to get a huge loan or get investors interested, but simply get money to make your business better, or simply to stay above water.
The people who went through that beat the odds, they are not sitting back but trying to make a better life for them and their family.
 
And we're going to help!!!

We signed up to Kiva.org and started researching the businesses and people we would like to help.  One of the ones that stood out was Sebastián Saltos from Santa Lucia, Ecuador who asked for a $1,200 loan. Mr. Saltos was almost fully funded (the way it works is that you don't have to loan him the whole amount, but various investors can give various amounts, MIFEX will get the money and make the loan) so we added our loan ($25) and went to sleep.

Name: Sebastián Saltos
Business Name: Agricultura Saltos
Location: Santa Lucia, Ecuador
Primary Activity: Farming
Loan Requested: $1,200.00
Repayment Term: 15 months - repaid monthly
Loan Use: Invest in supplies.
Date Posted: Feb 27, 2008
Date Funded: Feb 29, 2008

Business Description
Sebastián is in the rice business for twenty years now, owning four blocks in the Santa Lucia area where he grows his crops. The section where he is located is very fertile given its location and the water canals that facilitate this type of labor.

Loan Use
He will invest his loan into the purchase of agricultural products to ready the land for the winter harvest. If he has enough left, he would like to increase the number of pigs he owns.

Personal Information
He is 39 years old and has two small children. He has an open partnership. His partner/wife does not work, and cares for the family's domestic needs.

Translated from Spanish by Mary Lynn, Kiva Volunteer.
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