Building a Business, Providing Lunch for School Children

Lorenza at work

Lorenza Leonor Maradiaga Aguilar, 43, is a native of the Los Chiles community, about 30 kms from the big city of San Carlos. She and her husband have one son who is 12 years old and in his first year of high school. He is considered one of the best students at his school, and, Lorenza says, “The pride of the family.”

The school that her son attends is just around the corner from her home. Around three years ago she realized that the students were always looking for a snack between classes. She decided to open a window just across from the school and started preparing traditional Nicaraguan snacks and beverages.

A well organized kitchen

She sells fresh juice for $0.16, enchiladas $0.33, tacos for $0.49, and plantain chips for $0.16. She works from 6:00 am to 1:00 pm from Monday through Friday. In the morning, she sells to primary school students, children from 6 years to 13 years old, and during the afternoon she sells to the high school students who attend school in the same building. Her daily goal is to sell over 50 bags of plantains chips, 50 juices, 20 tacos, and 20 enchiladas for a profit of $6.56. She is saving to expand and improve  the kitchen with better conditions. Eventually, she wants to acquire an Inkawuasi stove (with this, she can save firewood and protect her lungs from smoke inhalation). “With those earnings I also support the education of my son,” she continued, “My husband is a farmer who grows corn, beans, quequisque which we use at home (we eat them and sell some of them to obtain cash for the other basic needs.)”

She became a micro-credit program beneficiary in August 2017. Lorenza received her first loan of $50.00 in October of 2017 which she invested to purchased kitchen supplies and products to expand her food stand business. She used the money to buy the following products: a gallon of oil, 100 plantains, a melon, four pineapples, and kitchen supplies including dishes, forks, plastic bowl, disposable plates, and plastic bags.

Lorenza with women from her micro-credit group

Lorenza is very grateful for the support that Self-Help International provides her and other women. She hopes they continue supporting Nicaraguan women who want to get ahead but have limited access to resources. “Thanks to the Micro-credit Program we are achieving our dreams and goals.”

By Yolanda Fletes – Micro-Credit Program Officer