Sonia happens to be one of the first 3 clients that Domingo Reguan had the pleasure to work with and I was along to see his first steps. Sonia lives in a simple structure with dirt floors. Her extended family lives on the same plot of land but in different buildings. Sonia started planting green beans and berries with her loan, which has turned out to be a very profitable business. When I first heard Sonia’s business plan I thought no way is this true. The profit just seemed too good to be true, there had to be some cost of labor or fertilizer that was being forgotten. In the end though it was just a good plan. Namaste’s BA, Domingo always had positive feedback when talking about Sonia throughout the 6 months. She is an ideal client, who takes to heart our BA’s advice.
Sadly, Sonia ran into some problems during the loan. During the cold season she lost a good portion of her crop to frost and wind. Looking at her profits though with this crop damage, just imagine what can be done once Sonia figures out a way to better protect her plants from those elements of nature. At the beginning of the loan Domingo had recommended that she be aware of the high probability of frost during that time of year, but Sonia responded how can she know when there will be frost? Domingo nonetheless suggested that nylon sheets or fires to warm the air might be needed on some nights and also chimed in that the cold fronts are predicted accurately here. Hopefully for next year we will be able to find a way for Sonia to do this effectively.
Sonia also had another blessing during this cycle. She gave birth soon after having received her loan. She really likes the Microcredit with Business advising program. What impresses the whole Guatemala team most is that she has even started to record her own costs and sales each month, putting directly into practice ideas from the Business Education modules “Manage your business money”. That chicken scratch she presents to Domingo each month might be the prettiest site our BA has seen yet from a client. We are also only looking towards better things for Sonia in the coming months. A few of the expenditures at the beginning of the cycle were for goods that will last at least a year. Domingo plans on seeing her profits continue to increase.
Berry & Green Beans Farmer
Family size: 3
Number of Children under 15: 1
Monthly family Income: Q1,700