By Susan Bean Aycock, English Program Volunteer
This week, $50 bought me not quite all of a pair of shoes in Dallas. Last week, the same amount provided me the opportunity to buy into the hopes and dreams of half a dozen women in rural Mexico.
I had signed up for a tour by En Vía to its new locale, Diaz Ordáz. We were three women: Cynthia from the US, Junko from Japan, and myself. All of us had already spent some time in Mexico and weren’t new to the idea of microfinancing, but none of us had ever been to this little town. We were going to meet the women who had requested loans and hear their business proposals.
|Our tour group of Cynthia, me and Junko with |
prospective borrower Estella and her son
|Raquel making bread in her family’s bakery.|
Evailda’s house was next, a small ranchito where we found her husband, son and assorted animals, but not Evailda herself. Her husband jumped into his mototaxi to go get her – it turns out her mother had died that week and the funeral procession we had seen coming into town was for her. The family stood graciously in their yard and explained the process of buying chicks to resell as cut chicken meat: a profit margin of pesos per chick, hoping that none die in the holding period.
We finished the tour at Sandra and Zenaida’s tiny store, where locals buy staples such as soap, detergent and chicken feed. They would like to buy more inventory (and maybe sell one of the seven jars of Dippity-Do under the counter), plus stay open longer hours.
|Evailda with her son and husband, discussing|
plans to sell chickens.
For $50, I got to buy into the hopes and dreams of a group of women I will never see again, but my day’s experience will become part of the fabric of their lives because it will help fund their dreams. And unlike the shoes, it’s something I’ll have forever.