Elvira Maria Orellana, FINCA El Salvador

FINCA El Salvador client Elvira Maria Orellana
Photo: FINCA Staff
Proof That Age Doesn’t Matter

When Elvira Maria Orellana’s husband died 27 years ago, she was left alone to raise her two young children, who at the time were one and six years old. She took a variety of jobs to put food on the table and a roof over her children’s heads, but it was always a struggle.

Her first solo venture was selling bread and snacks from her home, so she could take care of her children. Her profits were meager, so she decided she’d start making and selling tortillas, which she could market to neighbors and small food vendors who had shops in her neighborhood of Colonia Santa Marta in the city of Resume. She was adamant that her work not take her far from her children, because she had grave concerns about the high crime that was growing nearby.

She sought out a small loan from a local lender so she could purchase her corn in larger quantities, but soon found that the high cost of service was cutting into her already small profits. Then she met a FINCA promoter who was working in her neighborhood, and after a few conversations and receiving instruction in how to manage a loan, Elvira received her first loan and learned the ins and outs of buying corn in bulk, including how to gauge her purchases in order to save time and money. Today, she has a loan for $1,000.

Elvira says she is grateful to FINCA because they trust her and her ability to repay her loans. She also says it means a lot to her that FINCA doesn’t consider a person’s age – she’s 63 – when they decide whether or not to lend. She says that, as long as God gives her another day, she will continue with her business and work with FINCA.

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