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Micro-enterprise in Peru 2012: True Sustainability

Yanamono II is only a 10 year old village. They were the folks that lived even more of a rural lifestyle than the folks in the very remote Yanamono I, a Youthlinc site years ago. Yanamono II has a small primary school and a decent community center. Their economy most exclusively relies on agriculture. The vast majority of the people in Yanamono II are farmers. One family owns a very small store with very basic supplies. A handful of other people sell other goods, such as second-hand clothes and moonshine.

The micro committee this year had a lot of work cut out before them to assess the economic climate and needs of the village and decide where to go from there. A group of 8 people had been preselected by Carlos, our in-country coordinator, and the mayor. We taught the traditional micro lessons (loan, interest, bookkeeping, etc) to the group. They formed a single co-op, electing the proper leadership. We were able to distribute loans for all 8 of these people to build better dams for their fish hatcheries, buy better food to raise healthier fish, and to stock their hatcheries with schools of fish. They were stoked to have this opportunity and understood the vision of paying forward this generosity to the rest of the community in future years.

One of the most powerful activities the micro group lead this year was conducting personal interviews of the most poor families in the community, who are candidates for receiving livestock loans in 2013. By sitting down one on one with these families, our team members were able to connect to the people of Yanamono II in deeper and more meaningful way.

One woman’s story had a particularly deep impact on the team. Gladys, a mother of 6, raises her family on less than 5 Soles per month, which is less than $2. Hearing about her hopes and dreams and hearing about what she likes to do on her free time, helped build such strong connections with team members that generous individuals on the team donated money they had been reserving for souvenir shopping to fund a livestock loan for her. She will be the first person to receive this type of a loan in Yanamono II. The 2013 team will expand this program with her as the pioneer.

Youthlinc

Youthlinc is a Utah-based 501c-3 nonprofit dedicated to creating lifetime humanitarians through local and international service. Learn more about our programs by visiting our website: www.youthlinc.org.

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