3:06 p.m. [ Click image to view larger ]
The past week has brought a lot of firsts for Dolores Maritza Jiménez de Portillo, a poised 29-year-old from El Salvador. First plane trip, first time in Seattle, first visit to Costco.
Also, first time speaking in front of more than a thousand people, which she did earlier today at the invitation of Global Partnerships, a Seattle-based micro-financing organization that works with lending agencies in eight Latin American countries.
With a $500 loan from Apoyo Integral, one of those agencies, Maritza set up a small convenience store that she runs with her husband, allowing their two boys to go to school. She has already repaid that loan and is working on repaying a $3,000 loan she took to build her house.
In between the luncheon speaking engagement and the private tour of Costco, Maritza had time to sit for a sketch and share her inspiring story with me and her impression of Seattle.
“Everything is wonderful. Everyone is so kind and sweet. They show others respect and affection, something I never had,” she said in Spanish about her visit in Seattle.
October 20, 2009 at 8:18 PM