The sweet scent of success permeates Carmen Cossio's greenhouses, which are filled with roses, gladiolas and callalilies. Carmen has been a flower producer for more than 20 years and a CRECER client for over 15 years. She learned the skill from her mother, and today, cultivates and sells flowers wholesale to vendors and store owners in Cochabamba. She also sells flowers for weddings , which make up a large portion of her sales.
Through CRECER, Carmen is able to obtain the working capital needed to purchase fertilizer and nutrients for her flowers, as well as seeds—some which are sourced from Ecuador. She has also received money management training from CRECER, from which she has learned the importance of saving. As such, Carmen makes monthly deposits into a savings account in addition to making payments on her loans.
Carmen's success is exemplified by the fact that her three adult children are either living abroad or studying in technical schools. Furthermore, Carmen's business and financial savvy have earned her the position of president of her communal bank, Bella Vista.
When asked, "When you were young, did you ever imagine you'd be so successful?", Carmen responded, "Yes! I always knew I'd work hard and not sit around with my arms crossed." Carmen has plans to expand her business by installing an irrigation tank, as well as buying seeds to cultivate carnations.