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Cooking Up a Better Life

Lucia is an entrepreneur and the mother of two in Ecuador.

When she first got married, her family’s future felt bright. However, things slowly began to unravel when her first child was born with physical disabilities. When Lucia and her husband got pregnant again, they learned that their second child would also face disabilities.

These challenges, in combination with Lucia’s husband’s growing debt, began to destabilize their marriage. Eventually, they divorced.

Lucia was left to care and provide for her children alone, which involved paying for several medical operations.

Lucia desperately needed a job, but with only an elementary school education, she had few prospects. So, she took matters into her own hands and started a catering business—a decision inspired by her love for cooking healthy food.


Lucia quickly learned that passion and drive weren’t enough, though. As a first-time entrepreneur, she wasn’t sure how to properly set up a business, create a business plan, or market herself.

Her business got off to a rocky start, but things began to turn around in 2017 when Lucia connected with Cuenca Partners—one of our local partners in Ecuador.

She attended a business planning seminar, began meeting with a mentor, and created a business plan and budget.


As a result, Lucia’s business has grown and she now employs herself and one other person full-time, in addition to occasional part-time workers.

This has allowed Lucia to provide for her children who are now in their late teens. Despite their disabilities, one has gone on to study at university while the other is currently training for the Paralympic games.

Lucia is studying, too. Right now, she is finishing high school, with the hopes of eventually going on to study nutrition at university.

Work used to be just a means to an end for Lucia, but now she reports, "I no longer work out of necessity but because I love what I do.”

With gratitude, she gives all the credit to God for bringing Cuenca Partners into her life and helping her succeed as a mother and an entrepreneur.

Across our global network, families like Lucia’s are rising out of poverty through business. With their own talent, creativity, and hard work, they are breaking the cycle of poverty for themselves and future generations.

And right now, you have the opportunity to continue this momentum by making a matching gift! Now through June 30, 2019, your donation to our Worldwide Fund will be matched (up to $100,000)—doubling your impact on poverty.

Your support will help unlock the potential or more aspiring entrepreneurs like Lucia around the world. Thank you for considering making a life-changing gift today and for partnering with us to pursue a world without poverty!