The great majority of the women that En Via works with are mothers. Today we wish to recognise the ways in which as mothers and businesswomen, women are working hard to provide for their children and families.
Ameli and her son Axel, in Diaz Ordaz.
One of the primary reasons that En Via lends money to women is that statistically, women have shown to invest in ways that directly benefit their families and communities. We see this time and time again as we hear that profits from businesses are used to support children through school, or to provide them with healthcare, or other essential aspects of their development.
We know that each individual loan is making an impact on the lives of many people because we know that the women we work with are sharing not only the financial profits of their projects and businesses with their families, but also the knowledge and self-esteem that comes from their participation in the program as a whole.
Amelia and her daughter and expected baby boy, in Teotitlan.
Recently we had the pleasure of visiting with one of our borrowers, Enedina Gonzalez Alvarez, with a tour group. Enedina is a weaver, and like many of our borrowers, she invests her loans in a family business that produces tapetes, or wool rugs. Her husband and children introduce themselves to us as we arrive, and it is clear to everyone that the family is a very close unit.
Oscar, Enedina's 17 year old son, hurries over with something to show the group; a great big bag of seed pods that will be used for naturally dying the wool the family will use for weaving. His face is glowing with pride as he stands by his mother as she explains the process to us.
Later I ask him what he thinks about the En Via program. Regarding the tours, he said he loves to have the chance to meet new people and interact with visitors. “The loans help our family and other families we know a lot”, he says seriously.
Enedina and her sons Oscar and Romero in Teotitlan.
I often wonder about the type of role models that are being encouraged and created, and am delighted to hear Oscar say that he is learning from his mother and family about how the money is best managed.
Enedina tells me how one of her favourite parts of the work is the way she works everyday with her family. They have 4 looms that are arranged side by side in the patio.
Oscar says that they exchange ideas, and even sing together sometimes as they weave. “I enjoy the time when we are together. When I am by myself working I feel lonely”, he says.
Romero, Enedina's younger son of 14 years, is also interested in the visit from En Via. “I think it is a good program that is helping the community”, he says. “I am proud of my mother, and I am grateful for what she teaches me”.
There are mothers of all ages and backgrounds in our program. Many have told me personally that the most important thing in their lives is being a mother. We have the privilege of knowing many of their children and of seeing them grow and develop over the years we have been working in the communities. All of us at En Via wish to congratulate all the mothers of the program for their hard work, and for the ways in which they continue to support their families as well as their communities as a whole. To all mothers everywhere, Happy Mother's Day!
Rosa, a single mother, stands with her daughters outside her house in Tlacochahuaya.