Nicaragua’s New Santa Claus

In San Marcos, Nicaragua, a small stature, elderly woman is known in her community as “Santa Claus.” Julia Ramirez runs a small convenience store out of her home, using the profits from her business to help feed and entertain children in poor communities.

Julia became a FINCA client 19 years ago, when she earned a living by selling cleaning products on the outskirts of Nicaragua’s capital, Managua. As a single mother, it was difficult for Julia to balance work and taking care of her children. Eventually, she was able to purchase a house in San Marcos, and used some of her profits to improve the house as well as open her convenience store.

Today, Julia’s own children are grown and she serves as a “second mother” to kids in San Marcos. With profits from her business, and continued FINCA loans, Julia serves hundreds of meals to children in various communities in San Marcos.

When asked what FINCA means to her, Julia tearfully replies,

“A lot of motivation.”