Estela is a young entrepreneur from the rural town of Xenimajuyo. At 23 years old, she has two children and dreams of a bright future for them. Estela comes from a large family of 10 children and did not have the opportunity to attend school. She wants a different life for her children. She was accepted into Friendship Bridge’s Microcredit Plus program through the Flor de Xenimajuyo trust bank and is currently repaying her second loan. She used her first loan of $256 to purchase additional yarn and fabric. Seeing her business grow with the investment of a microloan, Estela applied again in order to increase product inventory. Eventually, she would like to diversify and also raise a small amount of livestock including pigs and chickens to help earn additional income.
She works hard to contribute to her family’s income and recently was able to move her family out of her mother-in-law’s home into a small adobe home where they have more space to raise the children.
Prior to her involvement with Friendship Bridge, they were highly dependent upon her husband’s family. “We lived with my mother-in-law and space was very limited as there were a lot of family living there. Building a house was only a dream for me. Now my dream is a reality. Our house is small but perfect for us and has more space to raise our children.”
In addition to capital, Estela’s trust bank also receives monthly educational lessons from their Friendship Bridge loan officer on topics ranging from budgeting for their business to women’s health and children’s rights. The trust bank meets monthly to make payment and take part in lessons. “I like my trust bank because I meet regularly with other women in the community. Many members are older than me and I can learn a lot from their life experience,” says Estela. She especially likes that the lessons cover topics that are often unknown to her. “We learned about women’s health and how to detect if something is abnormal,” explains Estela. ‘’We thank Friendship Bridge for supporting our family. We still have a long journey, but little by little we are building our businesses to ensure our children have a different life than ours.”