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Magdalena B. B., 43, weaves traditional Mayan women's clothing, including shawls, huipiles, and head dressings which are quite unique in this region. The huipiles are special women's tops that can take up two months to make, depending on the details and the design. Her customers are the women of the town who are in need of a new huipil and will pay up to US$275 for her weavings. She has taught all her daughters this traditional Mayan art that has been created in the same way for 400 years.

Magdalena lost her husband four months ago after a four-year battle with tuberculosis. She now is the sole support of her 6 children and she somehow manages to send all her children to school, except for the youngest who will attend next year. Magdalena struggles with some stomach problems; the kids are generally healthy, but have not come to terms with the loss of their dad. In order to purify their drinking water they boil it. They do not have electricity and she cooks by wood. She speaks Ixil, the Mayan language spoken in Nebaj. Unlike many people, she does own enough land to grow corn to feed her family.

With this loan she will buy more yarn to weave and some stock for the small store she is developing. Her ultimate goal is to weave enough so she can purchase enough product to fully stock her little store.

Written by Nancy Lewis and Randy Fay, Kiva Fellows.

Additional Information

About Friendship Bridge

This loan is administered by Friendship Bridge (FB), a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that empowers thousands of impoverished Guatemalan women through its Microcredit Plus program. The program combines small loans averaging US$350 for four-to-twelve month loan terms with non-formal, participatory education.

As FB clients, women start, expand, or diversify their businesses and learn practical lessons on topics including business, health, and self-esteem. FB’s clients borrow as a group, forming Trust Banks (groups of 7-25 women who serve as co-guarantors of the loan and act as a self-regulating support network).

About Guatemala

  • $5,300
    Average annual income
  • 122
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $10,890,350
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • US Dollars
    Loan transacted in USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A loan of $525 helped Magdalena purchase yarn for weaving.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
11 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Aug 21, 2007
Aug 7, 2007
Currency Exchange Loss:
May 22, 2008