Microloans empower Colombian parents

by Opportunity International
Feb 3, 2012

Meet Alfonsina Romero Quintero

Alfonsina Romero Quintero
Alfonsina Romero Quintero

Meet our client, Alfonsina Romero Quintero

Alfonsina Romero Quintero is 34 years old. She is married to Antonio Perez Placa. Together they have a 12 year old and 5 year old son. While her husband works in construction, Alfonsina has a stand in the Basurto market where she sells fresh vegetables.

She is from Baranquilla where she studied to be an assistant nurse. However, when she could not get a job, she moved to Cartagena to find better paying work. She began by working for a woman with a stand similar to the one she has now. When Alfonsina wanted to begin her own business, that woman loaned her the vegetables.

Today Alfonsina has own business. She begins her day at 2:30 in the morning, when the produce trucks arrive from Medellin, Bogota, and Cali. She bargains and buys fruit from 3 am-4 am. Then she works until 1:30 pm selling from her stand.

As an individual client, she has worked with Opportunity International for the past 5 years, and this is the first microfinance organization she has worked with. Today she is requesting 2,100,000 pesos to buy vegetables for her stand. She will invest in all types of vegetables, but especially tomatoes and potatoes, because they are her bestsellers. She appreciates the ease of payment with Opportunity and the friendliness of the loan officers. Opportunity loans enable her to buy fruit in bulk and give her more negotiation powers.

Eventually, she wants to buy her own location. Right now she rents the space in the market in order to run her business. Her oldest son wants to be a veterinarian, and she hopes, through her business, she will be able to support him in that.


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Organization Information

Opportunity International

Location: Chicago, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.opportunity.org
Project Leader:
Ian Haisley
Director of Online Strategy
Oak Brook, IL United States

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