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Las Costureras Group
In this Group: Sebastiana , Catarina , Ana , Catarina Regina , Petronila , Maria , Maria , Marta , Cecilia
“Las Costureras”, which means “The Seamstresses”, is the name of the Friendship Bridge Trust Bank in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. There are nine women in the group and, as their name suggests, the majority of them are seamstresses. The ladies, who are friends and neighbors, are beginning their second loan cycle with Friendship Bridge. They are looking forward to improving their businesses and their quality of life.

Catarina, a 22-year-old member of the Trust Bank, is the mother of a beautiful girl who is just over a year old. She is the joy of her mother’s life! Catarina sews ornaments and trims to decorate typical blouses called “huipiles” (pronounced “we-pee-les”). She sells her work by the yard. As is the case with her fellow Trust Bank members, Catarina is beginning her second loan cycle. She plans to invest the loan in the purchase of fabrics and various colors of high quality thread. Her faithful and long time customers know that Catarina’s work is of very high quality and so they return to her repeatedly for new orders.

Catarina only reached the 6th grade and enjoys the monthly meetings with the Friendship Bridge Loan Officer. Besides making payments on their loans, the ladies participate in educational training sessions. A variety of topics are discussed, such as business and money management, women’s identity, leadership and self-esteem, as well as children’s and women’s health and rights. With the knowledge that the women gain, they feel more empowered and able to manage their businesses and their lives more successfully. It is the combination of the loans and the educational trainings that Friendship Bridge calls “Microcredit Plus”.

Catarina and the rest of the group are so appreciative and grateful that people from other parts of the world are interested in helping them help themselves. They look forward to a brighter future for themselves, their families and their community. Finally, they want KIVA investors to know that they send each person greetings from “The Land of Eternal Spring”....Guatemala!

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
  • 86
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $9,647,375
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 7.8
    Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A portion of Las Costureras Group's $2,925 loan helped a member to purchase fabrics and various colors of high quality thread.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
12 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Apr 9, 2014
Apr 25, 2014
Currency Exchange Loss:
Mar 17, 2015