Tiodoro has a grocery store in La Pintada de Coclé area and has become well known in his community as a generous person, with great people skills and, above all, is seen as a role model.
The first years of his marriage were difficult, he lost his job. He and his wife didn't have anywhere to live, so they set up a home in a house made of mud that belonged to his brother. As he couldn’t find a job to put food on the table, he decided to set up his own enterprise, using the USD 300 settlement from his previous job. He used this money to buy basic products which were needed in the community where he lived, such as salt, kerosene, matches, sugar and started selling them from his house, helped by his wife. Tiodoro reinvested his earnings to continue with his business.
Tiodoro took no notice of his neighbor's comments when he said that his business wouldn't do well because only people with money could do it, and not poor people like him. He didn't let the gloomy forecasts depress him and he enlarged his productive activity by sowing rice, which he later sold. However, he needed support in order to increase his capital and his sales.
It was in 2003 when he learned about Microserfin, which gave him an opportunity with his first loan of USD 700. Tiodoro feels very grateful to the institution because it has been his ally for several years; it has made it viable for him to grow his enterprise as well as helping his family and his community.
The expansion of his business has meant that his four children have enjoyed the education he could not aspire to because of his own family's precarious economy. His youngest daughter is studying to become a nurse.
He currently owns four areas of farmland in different parts of La Pintada which he uses as pasture for his cows, whose meat he sells in his grocery at a very reasonable price for his customers. What he doesn’t sell in his store he gives away to other people in the community.
Tiodoro tries to show solidarity and be generous with his neighbors. He gave away a plot of land in the new village of Machuca to one of his farm employees so that he could live there. He donates to the church and other community organizations. Since he is one of the few people with a car in Machuca, he often has to help the ill and take them in the small hours to the hospital at Penonomé; he doesn’t mind if they wake him up in the middle of the night, as long as he is helping a neighbor. This good heart means he is much loved and respected in his community.
He has run his business for over 23 years and has been a Microserfin client for 12. The most recent credit he applied for was for USD 10,650. His hard work, careful management and the support of his family have meant that his business has grown steadily.