In the desert region of Ica, Peru, a beautiful and strong-willed girl named Nilva Linda was born. Nilva was one of eight children. With a large family living under one roof, schooling and clothing were expenses that were always a concern. The whole family learned how to work from a very young age.

When Nilva was twelve-years-old, her parents decided to move the family to Huaral, Peru for better work. Once they arrived and settled in Huaral, Nilva began working as a harvester, picking corn and peas. Even though it was challenging, she was able to juggle her studies with work.

When Nilva was twenty-four, she married her sweetheart, Alberto. In time, they were blessed with three beautiful daughters that bring great joy to their lives. In wanting to provide for their family, Nilva and Alberto tried to find creative ways to earn more income. They planted potatoes and strawberries, but it was a very bad year. The weather was extremely dry and they lost everything, but they did not give up. As they talked together, Nilva and Alberto discussed the possibility of planting flowers. Flowers are more hearty than vegetables and fruits, and certain varieties of flowers grow in the winter. In time, their flower business grew, as did Nilva’s family. There was a need for more income to provide for their daughters.

Nilva is very outgoing and sales come naturally to her. When she was young, she saw her mother sell soft drinks and water. Nilva decided she would like to run a small convenience store that she could manage with the help of her daughters. It was at this time when Nilva’s brother, Raul, spoke to her about Mentors Peru. He advised her to join the program and receive the education and financial support she needed. She followed her brother’s advice and completed the training program.

Nilva and Alberto were able to purchase two hectares of land and planted more flowers thanks to the small loan from Mentors Peru. Now they are able to produce two-hundred and thirty packages of cut flowers per week.  They have named their business, “Agricultores De La Rancheria,” and are very happy with the results.

With additional micro-loans from Mentors Peru, they were also able to open a convenience store and have a variety of inventory for sale as well as start a small winery. Each loan they have received was invested back into their entrepreneurial ventures. Nilva and Alberto take pride in the fact that they have never missed a loan payment and that they are honest and fair in their business dealings.

With on-going mentoring, they are planning for the future. Currently, Nilva and Alberto are saving to purchase a van so they can take their products of wine and cut flowers to the wholesale market.

“Mentors Peru has helped me progress in my life, and in my business. I am very grateful”, says Nilva with a content smile.

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