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Santa Marta Group
In this Group: Albertina, Martha, Irma, Cecilia, Lucia*, Elena, Maria, Juana, Concepcion, Maria, Maria*, Maria
* not pictured

The women from the Santa Marta community in San Juan, Lake Atitlan enjoy living in their town and prefer to work in groups. Group president Albertina U. described their habits as, “tranquil, united and happy.” All of these women know each other and it is easy to sense that they enjoy being part of a team in which everyone pays back their loans as a group.

The women dedicate themselves to a variety of micro-enterprises. Eight women weave - making hammocks, traditional guipil tops and shoulder bags. Three women resell clothing. The other two raise chickens to sell or butcher. Their buyers are intermediaries who sell items in Panajachel and other villages surrounding Lake Atitlan.

When asked about their businesses, they had mixed feelings. Although sales are continuously growing, the sales were low this season. The winter months of December, January and February bring in much more profit than the rainy season of the spring months.

According to Albertina U., the loans have helped a lot and have allowed them to invest in necessities for their businesses. This will ultimately lead to increased profits. She pointed out that sometimes the cycle of a business is interrupted when an unforeseen expense arises or sales are low. The loans help to keep the businesses stable. However, this cycle is broken when there’s a lack of microlenders.

The loans support their business but more importantly support most of their dreams for the future: “the well-being of their families and the advancement of their childrens' 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
  • 76
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $9,917,275
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 7.5
    Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A portion of Santa Marta Group's $3,275 loan helped a member to purchase weaving equipment, thread, dye and cloth.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
15 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Jul 12, 2008
Jun 28, 2008
Currency Exchange Loss:
Oct 3, 2009