The panca/alfalfa guinea pig food she is selling.

Doris and Roger live and their four children live in Trujillo, Peru. Roger was working to provide for his family and Doris was staying home caring for the needs of the family. Unfortunately, Roger was laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doris raises guinea pigs and through her ingenuity, she thought of a way to bring additional income to their family. Many people in Peru raise guinea pigs for their meat. The food guinea pigs eat is called panca. Doris thought she could purchase the panca in bulk because the cost per pound is lower. Then she would sell it along with alfalfa to people throughout her community. During the beginning of her business, she had a few sales and made a small profit with her panca/alfalfa bundles.

She was discussing her business idea with a friend she knew from church, and her friend told her about Mentors International. Doris was excited about this opportunity and she quickly enrolled in their Sales and Customer Service Class.

Doris studied hard at Mentors International. She learned about preparation, debt reduction, savings, and budgeting. She implemented what she learned into her small business. She kept a record of her customers and how long the product would last before needing more.  To increase the number of customers, Doris decided to add bread to her inventory, and this increased her business revenue.

Something amazing happened… at first, Roger was the one who would prepare the products for distribution, and soon the whole family was working together.

When restriction measures tightened due to COVID-19, Doris thought she might lose the family business. They adapted to their situation and instead of selling their product by motorcycle and taxi, their new strategy was to sell by phone calls and through personal networking. It was remarkable their sales skyrocketed along with the number of customers.

Doris continues to receive on-going mentoring from Mentors International. She has reduced all her personal debts thanks to the income of her business. Her children are studying in school, and these expenses are being covered through the profits of her business.

Doris is grateful for the lessons she has learned from Mentors International, especially the principle of saving. This has become a habit for her and her family. Before working with Mentors International Doris was facing a difficult financial situation within her family. Thanks to the self-reliance principles she was taught she has put a budget into practice, she makes sure to spend less than she earns, and the relationships with her family members have improved by working together for a common goal.

Doris says, “I have feelings of gratitude for having had the opportunity to receive guidance and direction from Mentors International.  One of the most important things I learned is to take advantage of time, to set specific goals with dates to achieve them. I have plans to introduce another product to sell and that is dog food. I have identified that there is an opportunity, my clients agree, and I am working to find a supplier that will provide me with a good price.”

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