As one of our smallest investments, María Elvira has become one of the most successful entrepreneurs. In addition to providing basic English language and business training, supplemental equipment (life vests, oars, helmets), María Elvira also received a logo and enough capital to purchase 5 kayaks.
Her plan was to start a small business that provided kayaks in the shallow estuaries of Taucu, a small town adjacent to Cobquecura. Today, in addition to adding a new activity for tourists to enjoy, María Elvira's business also provides local employment for young Cobquecurans. She began without any idea of how to operate a kayak business, thus she mostly provided cleaning, cooking and manual labor services whenever she could find work in the town. When she applied to Recupera Chile, the idea of Kayak Vilu, her business, was just a small seed of what it has grown to become.
Over several years, her business has boomed. She has become one of the primary providers of outdoor tourism activity in the town and also provides jobs for several other members of the town specially during the tourism season. Though the work is still highly tied to the tourism season, her business has created a new and fun option for tourists who come to enjoy Cobquecura.