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Fuente De La Esperanza Group
In this Group: Josefa, Ana, Elena, Conception, Juana, Silvia, Francisca, Antonia, Rosa, Josefa
Santiago Atitlan has been a major city since early Mayan times and is situated on the hillside of beautiful Lake Atitlan. Atitlan is known around the lake for the strong presence of the Mayan Tzutujil people.

Despite this interesting background and beautiful scenery, the women from the group tell me this town can be dangerous at times. This is especially true for women, who are already greatly under pressure to keep their families running, and sometimes deal with attacks and suffer from the hard laws of the street. The troubled times caused by the Civil War during the eighties have influenced Santiago's contemporary reality very much; this is why Conception, who does most of the talking for the group, thinks that life in Santiago is, even today, a difficult one.

Pride and the continuing search for a better life keeps the women of this group going and they are working hard to improve their lives and the lives of the ones they love.

Most of the women work in embroidery. The Santiago Atitlan embroidery is delightful. Artisans will weave beautiful birds and Mayan symbols in their typical blouses called Guipiles. For almost all of the women this is their second, third or fourth loan. There are even some women who came from another group and have managed to establish their lives quite well after 8 years of microfinance loans, says Josefa, who is one of them herself. Josefa is the president of the group. While working in her convenience shop that she has managed to build, she works on embroidery too. She is also very happy to be able to help the younger members of the group to learn how to invest their credit well.

Conception says that it is everybody's wish to take advantage of every opportunity they have to talk to foreigners. This is because talking to foreigners is an opportunity for them to show their beautiful art to the world and this can become an opportunity to sell or even export their goods to other countries. Selling their products to foreigners will generate the earnings they deserve, especially during the tough rainy season when the prices of their weavings drop dramatically and the competition increases. This is because there is too much competition in the local market and their weavings are sold at very low prices. This means they sometimes have to sell their products under production costs just to get some money for future investments. The rest of the group very much agreed with her and gave Conception a round of applause because she has expressed herself well.

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
  • 130
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $10,298,025
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 7.5
    Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A portion of Fuente De La Esperanza Group's $3,300 loan helped a member invest in materials.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
15 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Sep 9, 2008
Aug 25, 2008
Currency Exchange Loss:
Nov 15, 2009