Petra has always loved cooking and five years ago she decided to turn her passion for food into a business. With the help of microloans from Grameen America, she was able to start a business selling her home-cooked Mexican specialties in her local community in the Bronx, New York City. Since then, she has become known for her ribs in salsa verde, her most popular dish.
With the loans she has been able to expand the foods she offers and buy equipment for her kitchen. The added income from her business has helped her and her husband send their two eldest children to college; her firstborn is now an accountant and the second is studying to be a nurse. In addition to seeing her youngest child get a good education, Petra’s dream is to open a restaurant one day.
As a member of Grameen America’s Bronx branch, Petra also participates in the organization’s pilot project Grameen Promotoras. As part of the initiative, promotoras, or health coaches, provide the women members with weekly health information, basic health screenings, referrals for health services, assistance in scheduling necessary medical appointments, and support in navigating the health system and attaining social services.
“The program is very good,” said Petra. “It’s helped connect me and others to a lot of local [health] services that are free or low-cost.”