Check out other loans that are currently fundraising!
Brisas Cienaga Grande Group
In this Group: Catalina, Juliana, Maria, Maria, Marta, Amelia, Petrona, Marcela, Manuela, Irma, Francisca, Florinda
View original language description ↓
The women of this communal bank come from the community of Cienega Grande. This community is located in a rural area within the Department of Sololá. The most common crops grown in the community are corn and potatoes. The residents are indigenous and the vast majority of them wear traditional clothing. The women can be seen walking around the town wearing short or long skirts and huipiles—traditional blouses made of handmade fabric—or embroidered blouses. Many of the men wear Western clothing, though some of them still wear traditional clothing.

Most of the members of the bank sell traditional clothing for a living. Selling traditional clothing in the rural areas is a lucrative business because there is much demand for it, especially among women.

Some of the women in the group are going to invest their loans in other types of businesses, including a shoe store, a furniture store, a tortilla shop, and a shop that sells poultry. The Brisas de Cienega Grande group includes a variety of non-traditional businesses. This can be a factor that helps the women’s business development in the communal bank, since all of them share their experiences with their various businesses.

Most of the women said that things were going well with their respective businesses. When asked about competition, they said that it was present, but that it did not prevent their businesses from being successful. The women who sell traditional clothing mentioned that all of their products are sold within the community.

The members of the Brisas Cienega Grande group say that they enjoy working in a communal bank, mainly because they would not have been able to obtain a loan otherwise. They also enjoy working together because they know each other well and know that they all have excellent credit records.

Another factor that makes this group unique is that all of the women are able to support their children’s education, and all of them send their children to school. While it might seem like this should be the rule, this is unfortunately not the case in Guatemala, where the illiteracy rate is very high. These women are thus helping their country to develop not just economically, but also socially.

Translated from Spanish by Chris Knutson, Kiva Volunteer

Las mujeres de este banco comunal provienen de la comunidad Cienega Grande. Esta comunidad está ubicada en un área rural dentro del departamento de Sololá. En esta comunidad la siembra de maíz y papa es lo más común . Los habitantes de esta comunidad son indígenas y la gran mayoría utilizan trajes tradicionales. Las mujeres caminan con cortes, faldas largas, y huipiles, blusas tejidas a mano, o blusas bordadas alrededor del pueblo. Muchos hombres utilizan ropa occidental, sin embargo se encuentran un grupo que todavía preservan su vestimenta tradicional.

La mayoría de clientas trabajan con ropa típica. La venta de ropa típica en las áreas rurales es un buen negocio porque hay mucha demanda por ella, especialmente el sector femenino de la población.

En el grupo también se puede encontrar mujeres que van a invertir su crédito en una zapatería, mueblería, tortillería y venta de pollos. En Brisas de Cienaga Grande se puede encontrar una variedad de negocios atípica. Esto puede ser un factor que ayude al desarrollo de las empresarias dentro del banco comunal porque todas intercambian experiencias de sus distintos negocios.

La mayoría de señoras comentaban que les iba bien con sus respectivos negocios. Cuando se les preguntó sobre la competencia, ellas dijeron que si estaba presente pero no era un gran inconveniente para el éxito de sus negocios. Las señoras que venden ropa típica comentaron que todos sus productos se venden dentro de su comunidad.

Las Brisas Cienega Grande dicen que les gusta trabajar en un banco comunal, principalmente porque de otra manera ellas no hubieran podido sacar un préstamo. También les gusta trabajar en conjunto porque todas se conocen bien y saben que todas tienen un record crediticio excelente.

Otro factor que hace a este grupo único es que todas las señoras realmente apoyan a la educación de sus hijos. Todas mandan a sus hijos al colegio. Aunque al parecer esta debería de ser la regla, no es la realidad de Guatemala. Los índices de analfabetismo son altísimos. Es por eso que estas mujeres no solo ayudan al desarrollo económico del país, sino al social también.

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
  • 96
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $9,667,175
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 7.4
    Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A portion of Brisas Cienaga Grande Group's $3,600 loan helped a member purchasing traditional clothing to sell; purchasing supplies for a tortilla shop, a furniture store, a shoe store, and a shop that sells poultry.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
15 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Jun 18, 2008
Jun 1, 2008
Currency Exchange Loss:
Sep 17, 2009