1.12.06

Door-to-Door Salespeople

A woman knocked on our door this late afternoon. She was selling bean tamales with a nice hot salsa. How could I resist at a mere $0.16 each! Her husband was at the end of our driveway waiting with the vehicle (a bicycle) in the rain with the food goods.

Since we've lived here, the door-to-door salesfolk have been frequent. Oranges. Handwoven Large Baskets. Warm Pizza. Cashews. Tortillas. Yogurt. Goat's Milk. Pressure Cooker Repairs. Prepared food of the Guatemala Variety. A Shoe Shine.

For me, pity kicks in easily. I yield more to the desire to pick up the determined and downtrodden salesman than to the appeal of the product or service. Though I must say these bean tamales are delish.

It is difficult to see so many people spinning their wheels in unproductive ventures. There is a man who probably walks 20 kms each sunny day selling homemade ice cream from a styrofoam box to which is attached a jingling bell. I tried a cone of his iced cream once and it wasn't very good. What could I expect for $0.16? So what can be done to help the uneducated? Educate them! But how? There are many obstacles to their financial success: First the education (this is huge as it often involves common sense). Then the capital. Then the purchasing base (who do you sell to when everyone around you is poor?). Then the money management (making sure they don't spend their money on useless things).

3 comments:

Debby said...

there was a spot on a news program about a man that started giving loans for business's in India. I think he won a nobel peace prize for his work. He would loan $3 and it was amazing what people could start with that money...and they would always pay it back and it was enough to get them on their feet. I wish I had a better memory of the news piece....did anyone else see it and remember better than I did?

Sirdar said...

That is kinda why you are down there...to help those who don't have the means like we do here in Canada. Maybe the opportunity isn't as great either. Glad to hear you are doing your part in helping the people who struggle to help themselves.

Zaak said...

I've heard of the India micro-industry initiative. There are lots around the world.

It's true, we're here to help. We're focusing on education rather than micro-industry and financial initiatives. It's something I would love to get into someday. We just have no resources or background in those areas.