Jose sits back in an Adirondack chair he made himself. His eyes shine brightly and his contagious smile lights up the dimly lit wood shop where we sit.
Jose tells us of his 11 years’ experience working as a machine operator in a factory in a nearby town. The factory closed, and like many, he was left without a job. A cousin, who made rattan furniture, invited him to come help him in his work, and this is where Jose started his journey as a woodworker. Making this style of rattan furniture, although beautiful, is expensive and is hard as the sales are few and far between. Jose moved from his cousin’s shop into another where he learned to make the rustic Adirondack chair. This shop later created the opportunity for him to learn other wood projects such as dressers and cabinets.
Building a reputation in this trade is everything and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to build a name as a reputable maker. In the beginning, you can’t be concerned about how much money you can make. You just have to keep doing what you do and hope you can find clients that will trust and pay you enough for your labor.
Today, while working on his own projects for clients, he manages a shop where other woodworkers pay to come to do their projects. Jose is punctual, dedicated, and serious about his work. He works with a schedule, and he is honest.
Six months ago, he joined the Microfinance Community Bank (MiBanco El Amor) and is learning how to responsibly manage his money, save, and get out of debt. Jose has three older children and is engaged to be married soon. He is working hard to be able to responsibly better provide for his family. He is a dreamer and says, “One day you’ll come to my shop. It’s going to have great things. I have a creative mind!”.
It makes us very happy to be able to help Jose and those other people that are fighting and dreaming for their lives as well.
These are the Microfinance we love.
Raquel & Alvaro