The scent of freshly cut firewood fills the air of the courtyard at the home where the women of the communal bank ‘Luqueñas’ are gathered for their loan approval meeting. Half are seated on benches maD. from scrap lumber, the others perched on stumps yet to be cut to smaller pieces. All wait eagerly, with smiles of hope and confidence. This will be their second loan, and having just successfully paid back their first in full, they are expecting a slight increase in funds.
The women have various businesses. About half specialize in weaving and crocheting traditional clothing native to the region, primarily ‘huipiles’, a woven blouse that can take up to three months to produce. They will invest their loan in thread and yarn, which they purchase at a market in the town of Santiago D. Atitlán, about an hour bus riD. away. Others sell products from catalogues, such as shoes, clothing, jewelry, and perfume. They will use their loans to place purchases in bulk for items to have on hand that they know sell well. This way they can save money on shipping costs as well as the P. item cost. Those who don’t weave or sell products have businesses buying and selling corn and beans, two staple foods of the region. They travel to Santiago D. Atitlán once a week, purchase large amounts of corn and beans, and bring them back to their town of San Lucas to sell in the market or to regular customers.
All of the women have families that they are taking care of. Some have as many as nine children living at home, and they are working very hard to proviD. not only food and shelter but also a good education for all their kids. When asked if the loans help them accomplish this goal, there is a resounding ‘yes!’ from a previously timid crowd. They all start laughing and chattering away about their happiness to be part of their bank, and about the positive impact it has had on their lives so far. One woman looks up and says ‘we’re taking out another loan, aren’t we?!’ The seventeen women are asking for a loan of 38,115 quetzales (about $4975), ranging from $150 to $400 P. person.
About Friendship BridgeThis 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).
This is a Group Loan
In a group loan, each member of the group receives an individual loan but is part of a larger group of individuals. The group is there to provide support to the members and to provide a system of peer pressure, but groups may or may not be formally bound by a group guarantee. In cases where there is a group guarantee, members of the group are responsible for paying back the loans of their fellow group members in the case of delinquency or default.
Kiva's Field Partners typically feature one borrower from a group. The loan description, sector, and other attributes for a group loan profile are determined by the featured borrower's loan. The other members of the group are not required to use their loans for the same purpose.
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Success!! The loan was 100% repaid