Bridges to Community Families: Tamariz Altamirano

Tamariz Altamirano

The whole idea came about from one wish: for the family to be together.  “The situation we were in before made it so that we…couldn’t dedicate sufficient time to our children,” Tamariz laments.  She describes how back then, she had been working at a factory and her husband for a company.  They were both coming home late at night, and leaving very early in the morning.  Then, Tamariz’ eyes sparkle a bit, and she leans forward, “This was our idea: my husband had learned how to work with mirrors,” she explains. ” He learned this trade so that we could start our own business.”

She describes how everything fell into place when she heard of the Bridges to Community economic development project that had just started in her community, now almost 8 years ago.  “And finally the moment came when the organization came into the community, and they were offering small loans [through a community fund], and this changed our lives because now, we told ourselves, we could make our dream come true–we could start our own business.”

Since that time, Tamariz and her husband have taken out 3 small loans, all paid off.  Each one was invested into their business.  But it’s not just their business that has done well.

Tamariz’ children, now 14 and 17, have been able to grow up with their parents at their side.  The oldest is deciding what to study after high school.  “She’s considering options not too far from home,” Tamariz explains.” And the younger one studies English on Saturdays, preparing herself for the future.”

“The largest benefit that we’ve received, the one that I wanted the most, is to spend time with our children.  Now we all work together as a family.  Now, even my oldest daughter comes to help us sell our products.  So we work together, we go out to sell together, and that’s how we keep moving forward.”  The success of the business has allowed for Tamariz to leave her job at the factory, something that she sees as a great achievement.

All in all, “The loans have been a great blessing that have changed all of our lives for the better.”