Total loan: $5,150

Catalinas Group

Santa Catarina Polopo, Sololá Department, Guatemala / Retail

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A loan helped to buy more traditional clothing, jewelry and other handicrafts to offer visitors.

Catalinas Group's story

The picturesque town of Santa Catarina Palopó is located a short distance from the popular municipality of Panajachel on the shores of Lake Atitlan in the Western Highlands.

Almost always smiling, Magdalena, 44 years old, is one of ten members of the Friendship Bridge Trust Bank “Catalinas”. She is married and has five children between the ages of 12 and 23. One of them is handicapped.

Magdalena works very hard selling beautiful paintings (her oldest son is especially talented), traditional textiles and beaded jewelry at three locales. In order to support their education, her children sometimes sell unique postcards with pieces of embroidered textiles on the streets of Panajachel. Magdalena is requesting a loan to buy more traditional clothing, jewelry and other handicrafts to offer visitors to the town.

The women in the Trust Bank learn to manage their businesses (traditional textiles, handicrafts, beaded jewelry) more effectively through monthly educational training sessions. They also learn about everyday subjects such as proper nutrition, healthy habits and the use of medicinal plants. The effective combination of loans and education is called “Microcredit Plus”.

This is the group's sixth loan cycle with Kiva. Thank you, Kiva investors, for providing capital for these much-needed loans!