Hope, Dignity, and $153.37

It may be difficult for those living in the United States to imagine $153.37 changing the lives of a family of five in a significant way. But in the barrios of Chimbote, Peru that’s exactly what happened.


Esther Maria Callan Medina, a petite woman with large, warm eyes and a big smile, is a clear example of how when you truly want something and put your mind to it, you can make it a reality.

Facing economic difficulties as her husband Octavio found himself unemployed, Esther decided to do what she could to help.

Caring for their 3-year-old son, Ryoma, hindered her ability to seek employment outside the home so she began selling food. Discovering it was a tiring job with little profit, she quickly turned to selling candy and other goods instead. It was then she decided to set up a small shop at the front of her home and came to CrediAcaf for help, where she received a loan through their thriving micro lending program, enabling her to start up her business.

In 2014 Esther received her first loan of 500 soles ($153.37) and has since watched her business grow each year. She warmly expresses, “CrediAcaf helped me greatly. I was going through a difficult time and various banks refused to help me. However, CrediAcaf believed in me and thanks to them my little shop has grown.”

Subsequent loans afforded her the ability to expand inventory and upgrade the physical property. As each loan was paid off a new loan was acquired.

  • 2014: 500 soles ($153.37)
  • 2015: 700 soles ($214.73)
  • 2016 February: 1200 soles ($368.10)
  • 2016 November: 1500 soles ($460.12)
Esther's home before upgrades to the property.

Esther’s home before upgrades to the property.

Ribbon Cutting

Bright, happy colors are inviting to customers.

Esther is a dedicated woman who, in spite of the circumstances she found herself in, decided to change her life and with the help and encouragement of ACAF, is forging a different, brighter future for herself and her family.

In the days ahead she hopes to see her shop continue to grow as well as help her older children, Jordan and Shantal, finish their engineering studies.

Ribbon Cutting

In 2016 alone, ACAF awarded 489 loans averaging 1344 soles ($414) to enterprising individuals striving to make a better life for their families. 

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