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Esperanza Means Hope

Written By: Paola Montalvo

Doña Esperanza gives a whole new meaning to her name, Hope.   

Two years ago, her family didn’t have clean, running water. Two years ago, her family didn’t have access to a Modern Bathroom. Two years ago, she was diligently working to grow her small tortilla business to support her family. But two years ago, what she did have was hope. She has always had hope. Hope carried her through. 

"Have hope, be an example, share your example, and fight for change."

Today, you can find Doña Esperanza awake in the wee hours of the morning, preparing for her day where she will make over 300 tortillas to sell. Currently, she has the best and largest tortilla business in the area. People come from all over not just for her tortillas, but also for her joyful presence and excellent customer service.

Life Transformation

This transformation was made possible first and foremost by her grit and tenacity, but also through her strategic business plan and the access to capital through the Amigos for Christ Microcredit Loan Program. Her business is thriving. She recently hired another woman from her community to keep up with her business’ growth and added a small venta (store) to her tortilla business. And she’s not slowing down anytime soon.

Somehow amid her busy days and mornings, Esperanza also manages to find time to make sure her three children are bathed, dressed, fed, and ready to go to school, an opportunity she was never awarded. Esperanza’s children have watched their mother closely as her hopes and dreams have turned into realities. Now, they’re following in her footsteps.  

Her oldest son Jose Ignacio is thriving in his studies. He graduated from primary school at the top of his class and now, as a high school student, is a part of our Leaders in Action Scholarship Program. Esperanza’s 10-year-old daughter, Geneser, inherited her mother’s business savvy. Not only does she help manage the books for the tortilla business, but she also started her very own enchilada business. And her youngest son Camilo? Well, he’s a happy, healthy seven-year-old. His joy says all you need to know about how much love surrounds him everyday.

Dreams for her Future

When we asked Doña Esperanza what her dream is for her three children she said: “That they would prosper in their future, that they would continue to study and have success in whatever career path or business they choose.” She wants her kids to make their own path, whatever that is, and to do it with all their heart.

"[My dream is that my children]... would prosper in their future, that they would continue to study and have success in whatever career path or business they choose."

Her hope continues to drive and sustain her. She is excited for what’s to come as her family continues to pursue growth and transformation. Her most recent endeavor: a new Clean Air Kitchen. She has paid her financial portion and is now patiently awaiting the construction to start. This kitchen will dramatically reduce the amount of smoke she inhales while cooking over her stove for her family and for her business. 

Doña Esperanza is the embodiment of hope. She is an inspiration to us and to those around her because she shines light and joy to everyone she comes into contact with. And if you’re looking to be transformed, this is the advice and example she not only gives to her children, but to all of us as well – “have hope, be an example, share your example, and fight for change.” That’s the same advice she gave to herself, just two years ago.

In the next blog post, Doña Esperanza’s 10 year old daughter, Geneser, an entrepreneur herself, shares her story and inspiration for her enchilada business. Stay tuned!

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