Stories of Hard Work and Achievement
Miladys de los Santos Aquino


“Give me one with everything and another with extra mayo´, I raised a family on this”

  Go to Measuring

After an evening dancing with friends or in a break from work, there is nothing better than enjoying a tasty chimichurri. “Chimis”, as this popular beef sandwich is known, are a classic of Dominican cuisine and much loved in the country. “Chimis” have such a place in people’s diets that you can find an outlet or a stall offering them on every corner. On one of Cristo Rey quarter’s most frequented streets, Miladys sets up her stall every day to sell her delicious “chimis” to passersby, a business which has allowed her to make a future for herself.

Placing an order here is easy: “Give me one with everything and another with extra mayo”. In less than 5 minutes the customer can eat their sandwiches, carefully prepared by Miladys, with a secret sauce, which is both semi-hot and bitter, giving the “chimi” its final unique taste. The menu also includes hot dogs, mofongo, pies, burritos, yaroas and other kinds of street food, which people eat on the go.

There are usually several people at any one time in the afternoons and evenings at her stand where every day she has around a hundred customers. She has been on this same spot for a long time and with the passing of the years has become a reference point for young people and those living in the area who feel like eating some fast, inexpensive food.

For this entrepreneurial woman, starting her business and becoming the mistress of her time and her destiny has been one of her great achievements. Before that she used to sell clothes and milk, and took part in informal lending groups, among other activities. Then she started selling inexpensive pies and very simple bread loaves. Many hours of working at night and exposure to the dangers of the area only brought in DOP 200-300 a day, so she decided to expand with other types of products.

Miladys has been a client of Banco Adopem since she began. She is hugely grateful to the institution, feeling that she has got to where she is now thanks to their support. The bank has supported her with loans for all her new business ideas, always at her side right up to today. An enterprise with profits that has enabled her to buy 4 houses, own her own vehicle, and educate all her children. “I have been doing this, working hard and legally, for over 14 years. I raised a family on this”, she says, all smiles, without taking her eyes off the cabbage which she is swiftly slicing.

“I have never been in formal employment, and why would I? I much prefer this kind of business, this is profitable for me”, she points out. Miladys brings passion to her occupation, although she admits that working from seven in the evening to five or six in the morning is exhausting and not risk-free.

She tells us with enthusiasm that she still has lots of plans for the future and, with Banco Adopem’s help again, hopes to achieve them.