Julia Lopez has faced many difficulties and challenges throughout her life, but that has never stopped her from having a positive attitude and a determination to overcome, persevere, and be enthusiastic.

Julia was only 17 when she found out she was expecting. The father, when he found out, abandoned her.  As a single mother, Julia sacrificed much for her child. She sold her livestock that she had raised and used the money to plant and harvest vegetables.  She was able to provide the very basic necessities but wanted to provide more.

Julia began planting coriander on her little plot of land. She knew that if she could just get a small loan she could invest it in renting more land, and planting more coriander. It was at this time a friend introduced her to Mentors International in Peru.

“I thought it was only about loaning me money, but I was very pleased when they explained to me that I would also receive training to teach me how to improve my earnings,” Julia explained.

Julia organized other women and farmers to create the solidarity group, “Chacayllo” and agreed to their first loan of 850 USD to purchase what was necessary for their planting and coriander harvest.

“Mentors Peru has helped me a lot in my financial education, I now keep records of expenses for my home and my crops.  My MENTORS taught me to save and break bad spending habits. I am grateful to Mentors Peru for their support. Thank you, MENTORS!” are her words.

Julia has expanded and now plants lettuce in addition to her coriander. She is now a grandmother, but she still gets up early each morning and works in her fields. She wants to help support her grandchildren with their education. Today Julie is very proud that her grandson is soon going to become the first college graduate in their family.

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