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Like mother, like daughter: the story of a Kiva loan in Peru

In a rural village called Chivay, surrounded by mountains and few economic opportunities, Estefania Cacya Penaloza prevails by getting her family ahead. 

Estefania across the street from her home in Chivay, Peru

As a single mother, she takes care of 6 family members, owns a small convenience store and is now taking on a new project: harvesting her mom’s broad beans. 

“I do it in honor of my mother.”

This past May, Estefania’s mother Genoveva passed away. Estefania praises her as a very hard working woman — and her actions proved it. Genoveva’s drive to succeed was so powerful that she continued working up until one week before she died.

“She never failed in her harvest,” says Estefania.

The broad beans and chickpeas that brought her mom success.

Estefania says that her mother was able to succeed in part thanks to the help from Kiva and our field partner Fondesurco. This Peruvian credit union reaches out to extremely rural communities like Chivay and provides financial access to people like Genoveva and Estefania. 

With the help from Kiva and Fondesurco, Estefania said her mom was able to save enough earnings to be able to “pay for her own funeral, leave no debt and give a mount sum to each of her children after her death.”

Estefania in her market.

Genoveva proves how a helping hand can go a long way for someone who has the drive to succeed. Estefania saw this trait in her mom and is now motivated to step into her shoes, harvest her mom’s crops and let the success of her business live on.

“I never harvested broad beans or chickpeas but now I will do it in honor of my mom.” 

Genoveva’s empowerment from her Kiva loan now transcends to Estefania. 

While she takes care of her children, grandchildren, a niece and a nephew on her own, Estefania says she hopes to provide them with a good education with the earnings she makes in her small market, and now, with her mom’s harvest. 

As Estefania takes on this new challenge in her life, she says she also takes on her mom’s hard-working spirit.

She also thanks Kiva and Fondesurco for the opportunity that was given to her mom which allowed her to part peacefully and still provide for her family, even as she’s gone. 


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About the author

Idania Ramirez

With a passion for travel and social justice, Idania Ramirez seeks to continue helping others connect via media. She sees human connection as a vital aspect in understanding humanity. She loves culture, community, chocolate and "self-help" books. As a first generation Mexican American, she strives to break barriers for herself, her family and others. She has reported as a multi-media journalist on the Texas-Mexico border in the Rio Grande Valley, been in the indigenous villages of Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala and recently worked at NBC Universal's Telemundo in San Antonio as a video journalist. She hopes to bring Kiva's mission throughout Latin America and give a window of reality of that region of the world to those who cannot travel there.