Annicia’s story is one of resilience and determination.

Despite the hardships she faced as a Haitian refugee living in the Dominican Republic, she never gave up on her dreams. Her primary goal was to provide a safe and clean home for her children, and through hard work, mentoring, and smart investments, she was able to make that DREAM A REALITY.

It wasn’t an easy journey. Annicia faced setbacks, including losing her job as a maid and being left with only $10 to support her family. But instead of giving up, she used that $10 to start her own business, selling peanut butter sandwiches to recyclers at Haina municipal garbage dump. At this dump is a community of recyclers that search through the garbage to find materials they can recycle for money or items they can fix and sell to others.

Annicia found that she made a little profit from that first business idea. She used her profit to buy food for her children and re-invested the $10 into purchasing more buns and peanut butter.

Shortly after, Annicia met Jerrall, one of our Mentors, and started attending our business training courses. Jerrall helped her create more specific investment plans for the niche she had identified. She started selling breakfast, lunch, water, natural juices, and other food services to the recyclers at the dump.

Annica used her first micro-loan to purchase a cooler to help keep her drinks cold. This was a big boost for her business. The people scavenging the dump were grateful that someone was selling cold drinks right where they worked. Annica gained a reputation and began to sell out of products daily.

Annica’s primary goal from the beginning was to be able to provide a safe home for her children. Their first house in the Dominican Republic had dirt floors and holes in the walls and roof. Every time it rained all of their possessions would get wet and moldy. This created a serious health risk for her and her family as well as a threat to her business inventory and livelihood.

Annica followed the advice of her mentor and was able to grow her business, pay back her loans, and save part of her income. Today her dream has become a reality! She has a safe and secure cement home for her children, but she isn’t stopping there. She plans to open a small cafeteria in the front of her home to expand her business and improve her family’s well being and economic security.

Annicia’s story is a testament to the power of hope and the resilience of the human spirit. DREAMS CAN BECOME REALITY, even in the face of adversity. Anything is possible with hard work, determination, and a Mentor!

Annicia shared with us, “My mentor’s advice has helped me make big changes in my business. Now each day, I hope to continue growing. I am planning to open a cafeteria in my neighborhood to fulfill my next dream.

I am very grateful to Mentors International for the opportunity they have given us! It has been a blessing to know them, especially because not many institutions take the time to help undocumented immigrants and help us grow and have a better future.”

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