Total loan: $3,475

Las Mercedes Group

Aldea Monte Mercedes, Sololá, , Guatemala / Retail

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A loan helped to buy shoes for women, men & children to have a variety of shoes for her business.

Las Mercedes Group's story

Educational training, part of the “Microcredit Plus” program (loans + education), is essential to the success of 7 Kaqchikel ladies in the Friendship Bridge Trust Bank “Las Mercedes”. In their monthly meetings, the women learn about how to support their businesses best (planning, budgeting, savings), take care of their families (health, hygiene, nutrition) & themselves (empowerment, self esteem, women’s health).

These ladies live in the state/department of Solola, a culturally rich indigenous area where 3 main groups of Maya live: Quiche, Tz’utujil, Kaqchikel. The women have all kinds of businesses like the sale of live chickens, shoes or the sales of cosmetics by catalogue. Others are farmers or weavers of beautiful traditional clothing. They are beginning their 1st loan cycle with Kiva.

A large percentage of the indigenous Maya speak their own language as well as Spanish, the official language of Guatemala. Alba, who is 53 years old, single & a member of the group, is a bookkeeper who only speaks Spanish. She has had a solid business for 10 years & sells clothing, shoes, perfumes & paint by catalogue. As she needs a variety of shoes for the business, Alba is requesting a loan to buy shoes for women, men & children. She is grateful to Kiva lenders & Friendship Bridge for believing in her & her friends in the Trust Bank.

All of the ladies send their heartfelt thanks to KIVA investors for funding their loans. They are forging ahead & creating pathways out of poverty!