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Juan Alberto Tiu Maldonado

Village La Hacienda Cunén, Quiché, Guatemala.

“You have to have courage and learn from what is around you and invest the money, because it is temptation and it goes away like water in the hand if you don't know how to use it.”

 

“If you get into debt it is to work harder than you have been working”

Juan Alberto is a 35-year-old microbusinessman, he did not have the best opportunities in his childhood and only reached second grade of primary school. He managed to learn to read and write and is now an example of an entrepreneurial man.

 

His first microcredit was a group loan with his father and people from the community in Cunén, Quiché, in 2009. At that time they needed money to be able to plant green beans, peas, onions and tomatoes. They approached the Fundación del Centavo -FUNDACEN- and were granted a microcredit of one thousand quetzales ($129) to start their project. They organized to sell and that is how they paid FUNDACEN.

 

After years Juan Alberto decided to get married and become independent. This time the reason for a microcredit was to buy sheep - a male and a female - which multiplied. He sold them and then achieved acceptable economic stability.

 

His vision of entrepreneurship continued, so he decided to learn the carpentry trade. He remembers that he acquired a Toyota pickup with which he transported the wood he bought and moved the furniture. In 2017 he made another microcredit with FUNDACEN for Q30 thousand, which would lead to establishing his business. This time he invested in a piece of land, cut down the trees and made furniture, which he happily comments, left him an extra profit with which he then hooked up his truck, valued at Q105 thousand.

 

In 2019, he invested more than Q150 thousand in machinery and took his business to Guatemala City. Everything was going perfectly, but COVID-19 forced him to stop his production and take care of his health, as he almost died after being infected. Due to the pandemic situation, he was forced to lower the prices of his products and fell behind on payments.

 

Juan Alberto expresses that he is aware that if it were not for a microcredit, he would not have had enough capital to buy and build what has been the sustenance and well-being of his family for 7 years. Today he has a carpenter and an assistant who are part of his venture.

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