A loan of $5,250 helped a member to buy thread in bulk.

Las Cruces Group's story

The Las Cruces Trust Bank resides in Chuanoj, a community in Totonicapan which is located in southwest Guatemala. Currently the Trust Bank is composed of 12 women, who on average are 32 years old and have about three years of formal education. These women are very responsible, hard-working people who want to improve their lives and the lives of their children. Due to economic constraints, these women were unable to attend school, and had to work from a young age. They struggle daily to raise their young children and provide them with a better future.

Carmen is a 29-year old member of Las Cruces Trust Bank who is married and has five children. Like many families in Chuanoj, Carmen and her husband are weavers. They use foot looms in order to make cortes (or traditional Guatemalan skirts), which they sell in markets nearby.

Business is doing well and demands are high for their cortes so Carmen and her husband recently decided to hire two full-time employees. She also needs more capital to buy thread in bulk, so she is requesting a loan from Friendship Brige. This way she can keep the price low, increase production and maximize their revenues. She is currently able to fill and deliver orders within an eight-day period and is working hard to shorten the delivery time.
Beyond receiving the loans, the Las Cruces Trust Bank has also created a circle of trust between its members. The women gather once a month and receive training giving by their Friendship Bridge loan officer. Through these facilitated activities, the women learn about and discuss business issues including budget management, identifying the different ways of do business (personal sales, telephone sales, wholesale sales, retail sales), and costs. The educational sessions also cover personal issues like health, hygiene, women's rights, and self-esteem. "Learning about these issues is a good benefit to our businesses," explains Carmen. "And it helps us with personal enrichment."

The Las Cruces Trust Bank acknowledges the importance of Kiva investors supporting them. They understand that in a developing country, such as Guatemala, they can create a decent working environment with your help.

In this group: Marycruz Juana, Carmen Isabel, Maria Vicenta, Celestina Francisca, Manuela Socorro, Felipa Isabel, Regina Emilia, Floridalma Regina, Juliana Matea, Maria Socorro, Adela Oneida Roxana, Anastasia Margarita

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