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Dora Maricela
Dora Maricela C. Avila, 20, does what she can do to help out her family. She works along with her mother, sisters and brothers to make ends meet. For the past 20 years the whole family has been making masks and papier-mâché's for the special festivals in the area. (The picture shows the whole family with some of their masks. Dora is the second from the left in the red shirt.) She took out her first loan to buy materials to make more papier-mâché characters and also to stock the little school supply store she has in front of her house. Before she opened the store the children in the neighborhood had to cross the extremely dangerous Pan-American highway to buy school supplies. Now they can stay safe and visit little store.

With this loan, Dora will expand her business into making tortillas. She will buy firewood for cooking, and corn and lime to make the tortillas twice a day.

Dora graduated from high school by working during the day and attending school at night. She wants to continue with schooling to become the equivalent of a registered nurse, but she does not have the money to buy the required equipment and pay the US$30 a month she would need to finish the two years of schooling.

The members of her tightly knit family all pitch in either to work their corn fields (a two hour walk away) or make masks or to make tortillas. Dora's father is seriously ill and can't work so it is even more important for all the others to pull their load. Dora does not hesitate to work to help support the family even if it means she may not be able to realize her own dreams.

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
  • 116
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $10,316,900
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • US Dollars
    Loan transacted in USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A loan of $400 helped Dora Maricela purchase supplies and wood to expand into making tortillas.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
9 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Sep 7, 2007
Aug 24, 2007
Currency Exchange Loss:
Mar 8, 2008