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Facing down floods and building a safer home in Barranquilla, ColombiaRosa Perez

When you walk through Rosa’s neighborhood in Barranquilla, Colombia the ground gives a little bit beneath your feet. It’s unsteady. It’s because the entire town is built on a landfill that used to be a mangrove. And it’s built on a landfill without drainage.

When the heavy rains come, there is no where for the water to go so it rises up, flooding the houses that have been painstakingly pieced together. This happens so frequently that Rosa has raised the floor of her home three times trying to combat future damage.

For Rosa and women like her, flooding is just one of the many challenges they face. She runs a small business selling beauty products and clothes from catalogs, and she is a proud member of the Girasoles Trust Group. For the past year and a half, she has worked alongside Opportunity International to grow her business and learn valuable life skills. And most recently, she worked with Opportunity to receive a roof and floor loan to make improvements on her home.

In Colombia, Opportunity offers Roof and Floor loans to clients who want to make their homes safer and more stable. These small credits empower clients to build kitchens, bathrooms, floors and walls. They make it possible for clients to build the homes they had previously only imagines. For Rosa, that meant a loan to improve her kitchen. Now, she has space to cook and a beautiful, tiled counter. She is proud of her home.

She and her husband have dreams of more improvements, too. Next, they want to improve the bathroom, then tackle the floor. Their three kids are grown, so they are now working to make the changes that their home has needed for so long. With support from Opportunity, they are confident that they can continue working toward the home of their dreams.

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