OUR SMALL BUSINESSES
These micro-businesses generate needed financial income for our organization. They are an essential part of our philosophy of providing the women we serve with a whole life plan for success. Working in these businesses provides an opportunity for the women to get real 'on the job' training, and feel the pride of earning their own money
...often for the first time in their lives.
Our laundry service has four commercial washers, four dryers, and sorting and folding tables in a retail location. With a large sign above and a window counter facing directly onto the busy street, we are able to capture foot and car traffic. On a typical weekend here in Cuenca, if you walk along the Tomebomba or Yannucay rivers that flow through the city, you will still see women washing laundry in the river, plunging clothes into the water, ringing them out, and slapping them on riverbank rocks. While only middle and upper-class Ecuadorians would pay for our complete wash/dry/fold service, our retail presence along with our reputation in the community have helped us build a loyal customer base.
Our current electrical wiring limits us to only running the washers OR the dryers at one time (not both at once). We have plans to upgrade the electric and expand this business.
If you find yourself in any Ecuadorian city or town around lunchtime you are in for a treat. You are never far from a little independent, local restaurant serving an "Almuerzo" or lunch special. Ecuadorians will typically take time for a multi-course meal in the middle of the day. These meals typically consist of soup to start, followed by rice, meat and a side, then ending with a bite of dessert and fruit juice or coffee. Prices range from US$2.00 to $6.00 depending on the neighborhood and clientele.
Our almuerzo restaurant seats approximately 18 people for lunch. We create a set menu daily and offer coffee and desserts. This business is a great place for women to learn basic hospitality and kitchen skills. Full of friendly repeat customers of both locals and expats, it is the perfect place to test their new skills of hostessing and table service.
In addition to the kitchen for the almuerzo restaurant, we have a separate large catering kitchen with enough space for meal preparation for events. This kitchen also serves as a space to conduct group training for women who want to learn the catering business such as banquet services and event planning.