MicroLoan Group 1

All of the women in group 1 live in Bel Aire in small houses across from the Espoir Haitien office. They are trusted neighbors of Espoir Haïtian board members, Patrick and Vilouse Charles. The group is very close: mothers and daughters, cousins and friends.
CHARLES, Maria – Maria, 65, is the mother of Lynda Paul. Maria sells charcoal at the Depo downtown. She has about 40 bags now. The cost of charcoal has been going up and so business has slowed down since people can’t afford as much. She plans to use the micro loan to buy larger quantities of charcoal. Vendors with larger inventories seem to make more sales. Maria was educated through 9th grade. She is widowed and lives with her grown daughter.
GERTRUDE, Joseph – Joseph, 32, is the daughter of Christiana Pierre. She is a plate and candy vendor. Joseph travels to the DR to buy plates and various candies and then sells them in the community, particularly in the school district. She plans to purchase more inventories and expects strong sales when school starts in the fall. Joseph completed the 10th grade. She lives with her husband who works construction and her son (7) and daughter (3).
JONAS, Rodeline – Rodeline, 24, is Vilouse’s cousin. She helped lead the cooking class for the Empowering Haitians team. She is a dry goods vendor at the large Saturday markets. She purchases her merchandise, items such as detergent, sugar and plates from the Dominican Republic. Her business has been growing and she plans to use the micro loan to grow her inventories. Rodeline lives with her daughter (5) and husband, a woodworking artisan and carpenter. She completed the 11th grade.
PAUL, Lynda – Lynda, 39, is also Vilouse’s cousin and the daughter to Maria Charles. Like many women in Haiti she resells a variety of items. She often works closely selling Charcoal with her mother. She sold shoes for a time at the Depo but that business has fallen off. She plans to invest the micro loan in clothing inventory or additional charcoal to further her mother’s business.
PIERRE, Christiana – Christiana, is the mother to Joesph Gertrude and is primarily a food vendor. She travels with her daughter to the Dominican Republic to purchase her supplies. She resells some of the dry goods locally and often sells hot food (spaghetti or rice and beans) to students. When school is not in session she resells clothing bought at the Depo. She is over 50 and lives with her son (25), daughters (23 and 19). Her son is a shoemaker. One of her daughters is a photographer and the other is still in school.

Charcoal is made in the rural areas of Haiti from quickly dwindling trees. It is made by burning the chopped wood in a pit covered with dirt. Deforestation is devastating the landscape of Haiti.