A loan of $2,425 helped a member to purchase thread.

Mujeres La Bendicion De Patzun Group's story

In the East village of Patzun Chimaltenango, Guatemala lives Sandy, an ambitious 22-year old woman who is working tirelessly to achieve her goals.
Sandy’s mother and father, farmers, worked hard to support her and her five siblings, but Sandy knew she had to find her own way to succeed.

Two years ago Sandy graduated from high school. However, due to the high unemployment in the country, she has been unable to get a job where she could fully use the education she received. This does not discourage Sandy, who believes that every effort is rewarded and the hardest challenges bring the best rewards.

As a child, Sandy learned to weave and embroider. With these skills and her drive to succeed, Sandy and her family decided to start a business selling handicrafts five years ago. Over time, they expanded their business to include the sale of different types of vegetables, and they also raise ducks.

Sandy currently travels to the market three times a week to sell her product. She usually leaves home at 6:30 a.m. and returns at 2 p.m. As her business grew, Sandy saw how she could benefit from a loan and eventually decided to join the Friendship Bridge.

Sandy explains that as she has diversified the types of products she sells, her customer base has increased. Sandy is about to begin her second loan cycle, and she is planning to use the loan to purchase thread in order to make more embroidered fabrics. In addition, she hopes to buy more food for her ducks.

Sandy is very excited to receive this loan because it gets her one step closer to achieving her dream of running a stable business with consistent revenues, thus giving her the opportunity to pursue her dream of going to college.

Sandy is part of the Mujeres la Bendición de Patzun Trust Bank, with 11 other women who are also working to improve their lives and the lives of their families (among all of them, they have 31 children). During their monthly loan repayment meetings, Sandy and her fellow Trust Bank members participate in educational lessons on business, money management, self-esteem, women’s rights, health and how to support their children’s education. These lessons not only provide the women with valuable information regarding their businesses and their family’s health, but also foster a community of support among the women. Sandy smiles as she says: "We are thankful for the opportunity of microloans as it helps us to promote our small businesses and improve our quality of life."

In this group: Veronica, Rebeca, Ruth Elizabeth, Rosa*, Saturnina, Sandy Jackeline Aracely, Francisca, Maria Angelica, Feliciana, Blanca Estela, Maria Ana*, Reyna
*not pictured

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Loan details