With the new store and farming business, they aim to double their income by the end of the year.
Marina and her husband have paid back their micro-loan, AND all of their personal debt. They prioritize savings and aim to keep at least $100 in their account.
Marina’s upbringing was on her parents’ coffee farm in Guatemala, and later, as a couple, they worked as laborers on different coffee plantations. Their lack of progress led them to deciding to move to Chiantla, where they received a small plot of land from her husband’s parents. Despite growing potatoes and vegetables, they still struggled to provide for their family.
An agriculture company’s promotion of chickpea planting in the region piqued their interest a few years ago. Marina and her husband were among the first to take up the new opportunity with the help of their mentor, Rufino, and Mentors International. They secured a micro-loan to buy chickpea seeds and fertilizers. Rufino taught them how to manage their finances and track inventory and expenses. Marina learned how to determine a fair and marketable price for their chickpeas.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought new challenges when markets closed, but with hard work and persistence, they reaped a bountiful harvest for two consecutive years, repaid the micro-loan and personal debts, and were encouraged by Rufino to maintain their savings. When they needed to fumigate their crops, they used their savings instead of getting into debt.
In 2022, Marina received another micro-loan from Mentors International to open a small store selling daily consumables, reinvesting profits to expand product offerings. With the new store and farming business, they aim to double their income by the end of the year.
Marina attributes her success to God, Rufino, their mentor, and the donors supporting Mentors International’s programs. She expresses her sincere gratitude to donors that ensure the programs from Mentors International are available to those in need.