Hi, I’m Emiledis!
Emiledis San Martin is many things: a single mom, a hardworking
business owner, a natural leader, and a force for change in her
community. Inspired to improve her neighborhood of Girasoles,
Colombia, she used the leadership skills she learned in her
Opportunity Trust Group to launch the Girasoles Community Project.
Together, she and her neighbors funded and built a community center,
tackling everything from architectural plans, to fundraising, to
managing the construction crew. Now, because of Emiledis’ leadership
and her neighbors’ dedication, Girasoles has a beautiful new space
that serves as a school for kids, an educational center for adults,
and an open space for neighborhood activities—and they are just
Hi, I’m Auilda!
Auilda Cruz had one big dream: to open a wildly inclusive school
where all students could learn, regardless of their abilities.
Equipped with teaching experience and a savings account, loan, and
specialized training from an Opportunity partner, Auilda opened
Colegio Evangelico to serve the children in her community in the
Dominican Republic and support her own two kids at home. Today, she
employs 23 of her neighbors and serves 100 students, a quarter of
whom have special needs. Because of Auilda and her team, children who
were declared nonverbal are now speaking, and others who never had
friends can now happily socialize. Now, Auilda’s dreams are getting
even bigger. She wants to build a science lab, a technology center,
and new classrooms to accommodate more students.
Hi, I’m Damaris!
The Los Mercados community in Nicaragua was suffering. Without
adequate infrastructure and electricity, 200 families in the
neighborhood couldn’t access fresh water. Some people walked three
hours to buy barrels of water, while others woke in the middle of the
night when demand was lowest with the hopes of seeing fresh water run
from their faucets. Eventually, Damaris Arias (left) decided enough
was enough. She wanted her son and the other children in the
community to enjoy clean water, so she spearheaded an initiative to
restore a 40-year-old aqueduct using a loan and support from
Opportunity. Everyone in Los Mercados worked together to repair the
system and dig new trenches, and today fresh water flows to every