For example, our Ecuador micro business in roses provides Ecuador scholarships.
Merri and I are stick in the muds when it comes to doing things at night. We are often in bed before nine… always before ten, unless it is some strange situation.
This weekend though for about the sixth time in 15 years of being up here in the mountains we were out after dark. The cause of risking being turned into a pumpkin was worthy… a fund raiser for the FREE medical clinic in Jefferson, North Carolina… called the Festival of Tables. 12 groups decorated table settings… we all had a nice meal and an auction. Last year this event raised ten thousand dollars for the clinic which helps provide health care to those who are not insured and cannot afford health care otherwise.
We contributed Ecuadorian roses and lilies and helped decorate this table.
Its amazing what 50 roses and lilies can do.
Merri and I love Ecuadorian roses so it is not surprising that we offer them at our site… not for the money, but to help the people of Ecuador. Our tradition has been to use our flower revenue to provide scholarships for children and to help Ecuador schools… so this was a double pleasure… in that we could help a little in Ecuador and Ashe County too.
Before we look at the benefits of the scholarships, let me share why Ecuador roses not only create a business opportunity (use them as a fund raiser) but are a phenomenal value!
Ecuador flowers make sense because they offer special value.
At $91, for 50 roses, the price can seem high… until one looks at the entire picture. Half the cost of these roses is the Fedex delivery right to the doorstep. That’s worth quite a bit… a big value enhancement. However the real value is shown when you consider the number that the beauty of these flowers last.
Typically a dozen supermarket roses cost $15 to $19… excluding the cost of getting to the store and back. You have to go there any way. Right? So 50 store roses cost $60 to $79. If lucky, they last a week… more often only three days. They rarely have enough energy to fully open.
Fresh Ecuador roses arrive looking like this.
But soon open so they…
look like this.
Fresh cut Ecuador roses are beautiful but also have staying power. One can always expect nine days… but with good care often much longer. Many of the last roses were still looking good after an amazing 21 days!
Ecuador roses after 21 days.
I was delighted to receive this note from our flower supplier in Ecuador, Roberto Ribadeneira,
Gary, I’ve notice that you are helping out a lot of young people with scholarships, which I think is the best way to help. Education has gone up in Ecuador. This is unbelievable. How can communities pay that much? In any case I thought maybe we can do a Rose Promotion for the scholarships, that helps raise some funds for the kids who want to go to university.
The idea is to offer roses for Thursday 22, 2011 delivery.
I will drop the price on the roses for that day ONLY so all the monies will go straight to these kid’s education.
In Ecuador where access to education is very limited and most people end up losing their chance to get into higher education, this gives a way to help them achieve their dreams.
In a region such as Otavalo and Cotacachi where there is almost no government related jobs, most people rely on their own effort to make a living. Unlike highly paid autocrats in Quito who make a lot of money with little effort, people in Otavalo and Cotacachi are hard workers that make much less and have less access to put their kids in universities.
Now in an area where going to college is a privilege supporting these kids is very important, mainly because they do want to pursue a dream, and without access to college that dream will be elusive.
I have four students in mind:
Young Jenny Montufar said repeatedly “thank you so much…I’ll do my best to get the best grades and make everyone proud of me”. She knows that without our help, she may never go to college. She loves tourism, she likes to talk to people, to welcome them to Ecuador and have them come over and over again. So she is in tourism at a local college, hoping that soon she can guide tourists to every corner of Ecuador.
Jenny Montufar (right)
So we have four kids attending to college and making their best effort to graduate and go for their dreams. Cristian Simba for example, works during nights and goes to college as soon as he is off from work. So he rarely gets sleep, but he is proud that he is one of the few who can attend college, he is studying how to administer a business and he hopes to apply that to his current job.
Jonathan Guerrero hopes to be (ingeniero de sistemas) a computer engineer, which was unheard before in Cotacachi, where most people work at hotels, restaurants or on leather. All of those are really good jobs, but far from being with the latest technology. So a young man in Cotacachi may be entering the new era as well.
Everyone has a story and a dream to fill while attending to College, and with a little help they can do it. What it is really important is that they commit to that, and they know it. Because they have to make their best effort to keep receiving help, because like them there are many other kids that need a scholarship as well.
For now these kids have a unique opportunity to make their community a little better, let’s hope that with our effort many more could do the same. But this is a give-give thing, we give them a hand and they stand up to the highest requirement, to be really good students and to make every dollar worth.
A scholarship must be earned and these kids are doing everything possible to be worth of it, and I do believe with a little help from everyone they can go to college and bring knowledge to their communities.
The cost of helping all three students for the next semester is $2,180 and with enough sales we can help these kids get that education. I know that there are two others who are getting their reports/grades together also…and that you have helped them for the last few years, but I thought that I should help too with an offering of roses. Roberto
This week until 5pm (EST) Saturday September 17, 2011, all funds that Roberto, Merri and I receive will go towards scholarships for these three students and hopefully the other two applicants.