Adelaida Reinvests Her Income in the Things That Matter Most – Her Children and Her Business

By Yolanda Fletes – Micro-Credit Program Officer


42-year-old Adelaida has been a part of Self-Help International’s micro-credit and business training program in Nicaragua since 2015. She’s from the Laurel Galán community, and she has four children – three girls and a boy.

When Adelaida and her husband moved to Laurel Galán, they wanted to take care of a farm’s cattle for money. But, when their children were born, the family’s needs expanded but they didn’t have enough money to achieve that goal. Instead, Adelaida decided to start her own eatery, but she didn’t have all of the necessary tools. Sometimes, she had to borrow chairs and utensils to be able to sell and serve her food. Little by little, Adelaida bought supplies for her business, but the things she really needed were expensive and she didn’t have enough money to purchase them.

One day, she heard someone talking about Self-Help International and its program for businesswomen. She figured that since she was a woman without economic resources or an ability to guarantee a loan, she wouldn’t be eligible to apply for or access a loan from Self-Help.

Finally, Adelaida decided to attend a training for the first time about improving her business. She asked how she could be part of Self-Help’s micro-credit program because being at the training motivated her to learn how to improve her business and take better control of her sales and income. She wanted to grow her business, and she needed Self-Help’s assistance to make that happen.

Adelaida attended trainings on topics like Creativity in Business, Entrepreneurship, Self-Esteem and Leadership, and Basic Accounting. This motivated her even more because Self-Help was focused on helping Adelaida improve her income.


Investing in Her Business

Using her strength and the loans she borrowed, Adelaida was able to expand her eatery. Prior to working with Self-Help’s micro-credit program, Adelaida only had four chairs and one table that had been lent to her in her restaurant. Today, she has four tables and 18 chairs in her business which enable her to serve more customers. On Saturdays, she sells 200 nacatamales at 35 cordobas and makes a profit of 2000 córdobas (59 USD). She also sells ice cream, chocolate bananas, and ice, and from these sales she’s able to pay her electricity and water bill for her business and house.

Adelaida has borrowed four loans from Self-Help, and it all has been invested in strengthening her business and funding her children’s schooling. Her most recent loan was for $500 which made her so happy because she was able to invest an even larger amount of money into her business. Adelaida’s sales are improving because she is working with her own capital. She used to buy supplies weekly and owed her suppliers money; now, she buys everything in bulk. She’s happy to be selling more meals, and she thanks the donors who supported her with this loan.


Investing in Her Children’s Futures

Adelaida didn’t have the opportunity to go to high school because it wasn’t important to her parents, and she learned to read and write from a government literacy program. So, Adelaida always prioritizes her children’s education. Adelaida has been able to send her children to university thanks to the improvements to her business. Her oldest daughter is 24, and she studied medicine in Leon. She is now doing her residency at the Luis Felipe Moncada hospital, in San Carlos, Rio San Juan. Her second oldest child, her 22-year-old son, is fourth in his class at university where he studies clinical analysis. Her third child, her 15-year-old daughter, is in her 5th year of secondary school. Her youngest is six years old and in the first grade. One of her goals is that both of her youngest daughters will have university careers. Her youngest daughter wants to study Civil Engineering at the National University of Engineering (UNI) in the capital of Managua.

Adelaida has been able to put the trainings she attended into practice, and she has been saving money and reinvesting it into her business. She has also had the added joy of helping her children get an education. The satisfaction that Adelaida has is from all of her own efforts, and she’s achieving her endeavors thanks to the support she received from Self-Help International.