- Elizabeth Yenny Flores is a 39 year old single mother of four children. Born in a tiny town
only a few miles from the city of Puno and Lake Titicaca, Elizabeth did not have a happy childhood.
After losing her parents, her sister-in-law brought her to Lima and forced her to work as a nanny
at the tender age of six. Elizabeth's sister in-law verbally abused her, and did not let her study
or play with friends. When she turned fifteen, Elizabeth fled and returned to Puno, where she met
her husband. They had four children, but throughout their marriage he punched, kicked and
threatened her. After years of abuse, he kicked her and the children out, abandoning them to beg in
- Elizabeth was desperate, but she decided she would move forward for the sake of
her children. She joined Pro Mujer through a friend, and took out a loan of about $100. With her
Pro Mujer loan, she acquired a cart and ingredients to make caramels. She would wake up at 4 am to
cook the caramels, roam the streets selling them during the day, and then work at a hot dog and
French fry stand at night. As she accumulated savings, Elizabeth was finally able to invest in
another business, selling clothes in an open-air market.
- Elizabeth says she is a different
person since she has joined Pro Mujer. Taking on leadership roles in her communal bank helped her
overcome her low self-esteem from a lifetime of familial and spousal abuse. She is investing in her
children's futures. She obtained an education loan to provide for their school expenses and, with
her earnings, recently purchased her first home. Elizabeth beams, "Pro Mujer was there for me
during some of the hardest points in my life. No one had faith in me, no one would loan me money.
Thanks to Pro Mujer my children have food and go to school. For the poorest women of Puno, Pro
Mujer is a great moral and economic support."