Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chabeli ....

Hi, I think that many of you will remember Chabeli. 
She lives in Tierra Linda and she sells fruit and vegetables in the market.  She was very ill after a hysterectomy and we had to rush her to Antigua several years ago for treatment.

Chabeli had a micro loan that she took out nearly a year ago and has only managed to make 3 payments on it.
Yesterday we called her in to talk about this and when she would be able to make more payments.

It was a very interesting meeting.
We found out that she does not know how to count and add up....she only know that if someone buys 10lb of tomatoes at Q2 ea that it is Q20...she has simple things like this memorized.
But we found out that she often buys fruit, such as a watermelon for Q16 and then re-sells it at the same price.
She has a lot of customers from restaurants coming to buy from her because she is the cheapest .....but she doesn't allow for a mark up on all of her vegs. and fruit.  
Often at the end of the day, she has not much stock left and not much money to replace it.

Chabeli did not go to school, she does not know how to read or write, she can barely speak Spanish. Gloria, who works with Mayan Families says that she has often seen people take advantage of Chabeli at the market.

We were also very dismayed to find out that she had taken out a loan at a bank.....some of these micro loans  that say they are here to help people are just making peoples lives so much harder....she obviously did not understand the interest rates and for nearly a year she has been paying nearly $80 a month interest on a $400 US loan.  She is still in debt with this loan. 

We have arranged that Chabeli will come to Mayan Families every morning at and she will have a half an hour class with Rodolfo ( a Mayan Families employee who is also a qualified teacher and speaks Kakchiquel ).  She will learn how to count, how to do simple additions and we will show her how to use a calculator.   After she has a handle on this, Fredy who handles the micro loans is going to talk to her about how to manage a small business.

We hope that this will be a big help for her.

best wishes,

No comments:

Post a Comment