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Las Marias De San Jose Chiriju Group
In this Group: Maria , Filomena , Elena , Benita , Himelda Noemi , Maria , Isabel , Maria Leonarda
When Las Marias de San Jose Chiriju formed a Trust Bank and realized three of their members were named Maria, it seemed only fitting to name the group Las Marias de San Jose Chirijuyu (The Marias of San Jose).

Recently, we spoke to one of the Marias to gain insight into their Trust Bank. Maria, 48 years old, is married to a farmer and has nine children. She has farmed for many years along with her husband, Bernardo. Years ago, she was also a weaver, like many other women in her community. However, with her loans through Friendship Bridge, she has branched out and started a business selling vegetables and livestock in Guatemala City.

Maria and her husband are skilled entrepreneurs. They keep money flowing in their local economy by buying crops from farmers in their village and then transporting the crops, along with their own strawberry harvest, to the wholesale market in Guatemala City. To begin this business they used a loan to build a storage facility to safely keep the products until they were transported.

Recently they have also started selling livestock. A new loan would give Maria the opportunity to plant more strawberries and to buy chickens.

Maria has many goals for her business, but most of all she wants to earn income to enhance her children’s education. Her hard work is paying off as her oldest child is about to graduate from high school. Maria explains, “I completed a few years of primary school, but my parents could no longer support my education so I started working. Now, with microloans that I invest in my business, I can earn enough to keep my children in school. I am so excited that one of my children will graduate this year!”

Maria and all of the Trust Bank members thank each individual through Kiva, for the effort made to invest in them, even without knowing them personally. Las Marias de San Jose Chiriju Trust Bank recognizes the responsibility that comes with great confidence like this.

All eight women have created a circle of friendship and support. They are determined to stay together to enhance the lives of their families through Friendship Bridge’s microloans and education.

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).

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.

About Guatemala

  • $5,300
    Average annual income
  • 105
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $10,347,575
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 7.8
    Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A portion of Las Marias De San Jose Chiriju Group's $4,300 loan helped a member to buy strawberries, seeds, and to buy chickens.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
14 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Oct 11, 2012
Oct 25, 2012
Currency Exchange Loss:
Nov 17, 2013