When Soap Hope first connected with Esperanza International, I took a trip to the Dominican Republic to visit the women they serve there.
One of the most memorable people I met was Bienvenida Nina. Bienvenida is an amazing woman and a successful entrepreneur. She started with nothing but vision and commitment. With the support of a few small loans and training, and through her own hard work and dedication over many years, Bienvenida now has a convenience store, a restaurant, and a home anyone would be proud of. Today she is launching her third business, an ice cream parlor.
I was moved to the core when Bienvenida walked with us past “homes” in the village near her businesses – she pointed out a small concrete room built on dirt, with a doorway but no door, and only half the roof covered by a sheet of corrugated tin. She said “I used to live here.” As we continued down the pathway and listened to her story, we came around a bend and saw a wonderful two-story house, colorfully painted, with a garden in front and an ornamental gate. She pulled out a key, and we realized this was Bienvenida’s home.
“This is where I live now,” Bienvenida told us. She chose to build her new home in her community, demonstrating an example of hope to her neighbors.
I knew then that Soap Hope needed to empower as many women like Bienvenida as possible. That’s why when you place an order with us, we send every dollar of profit to women in places like the Dominican Republic for one year, interest free. The women start businesses and then return the funds to us a year later. Each five dollars that you spend with us funds one day of a woman’s loan. That’s we say, “A bar of soap is a day of hope.”
Bienvenida took us to her restaurant, which is now famous for it’s fried chicken. Our friends at Esperanza told us we could share her “secret recipe” with you today. (For my vegetarian friends, it works just as well with tofu!)
Bienvenida Nina’s secret … shhh
Soak chicken in vinegar
All spices are to taste:
Crushed whole oregano
Salt if desired
Coat in flour and fry
Donated by Bienvenida Nina