Update about our Kiva loans in the Dominican Republic

We received this update from a Kiva Fellow who has been working in the Dominican Republic:

As you may know, all entrepreneur profiles on Kiva’s website are posted by local Field Partners like Esperanza, whose mission is to “free children and their families from poverty through initiatives that generate income, education, and health, restoring self-worth and dignity to those who have lost hope.” As a Kiva Fellow working with Esperanza International in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, I saw Esperanza’s mission at work most recently while visiting a batey.

For those that are not familiar with the term “batey,” it is a small, barrack-style community built and maintained by large sugar corporations. These communities are often completely surrounded by sugar cane fields, and often they lack basic resources such as clean drinking water, transportation, reliable electricity, and medicine. The majority of a batey’s members work in planting, cutting, and loading sugar cane for eight months of the year. The other four months are a stalemate, during which there are no sugar cane earnings.

In order to ensure continued earnings, one entrepreneur, Cloreta Yan, who lives on a rural batey, used her Kiva loan to open a small store in her house. Her community previously did not have a store where they might buy basic supplies, which meant that community members had to travel to nearby communities to shop. When my fellow Kiva Fellow Kalie Gold and I first visited Cloreta, she offered very basic supplies, such as sugar, oil, and rice. When I conducted a follow-up visit, she was selling over 20 items, including tobacco, ice, drinks, and cookies. She is now earning 600 pesos a week and, according to her loan officer, continues to expand the line of merchandise she sells.

Esperanza has supported 4,251 Kiva entrepreneurs thus far, resulting in approximately $200,000 loaned. Continually working to improve their organization, they have recently opened an office in Trau de Nord, Haiti. Esperanza continues to grow – thanks to Kiva lenders like you!

Staff members at various offices throughout the Dominican Republic visit their entrepreneurs frequently, and many of you will receive an update on an entrepreneur who received a loan contribution from you. Unfortunately, due to logistical and administrative constraints, reaching every entrepreneur for an update is just not possible, even with Esperanza’s dedicated team. Whether or not an update is provided on a specific entrepreneur to whom you made a loan, I hope that you have enjoyed this update on the impact that Esperanza has had with Kiva funds.