Total loan: $4,350

Las Palomas Del Rio Group

Cunen, El Quiché, Quiché Department, Guatemala / Arts

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A loan helped to purchase another loom, tools and a variety of yarns.

Las Palomas Del Rio Group's story

In a remote area of the Department of Quiché in the highlands of Guatemala, ten Maya K'iche'-speaking women formed the Friendship Bridge Trust Bank "Las Palomas del Rio". A few members speak Spanish with difficulty. They live in small adobe houses with sheet metal roofs where they weave traditional Maya wraparound skirts (cortes). They are requesting their first Kiva loan to expand their businesses selling traditional Maya textiles inside and outside of their community.

The president of the trust bank is 24-year-old Maria. With a sixth-grade education, she has the most formal schooling in the group. Maria has four children, whose ages range from 1 to 8, and is proud that her two eldest completed kindergarten and first grade this year. Maria wants to continue to fund her children’s education, so she wants to expand her weaving business to earn more money. She and her husband have a small workshop where they have two floor looms that produce approximately twenty traditional wraparound skirts (cortes) per month. María is requesting a loan to purchase another loom, tools and a variety of yarns.

Maria participates in the Friendship Bridge’s "Microcredit Plus" program that includes loans, education and health care. Each month, she learns about one aspect of four main topics: business, health, family and women. The women then apply these lessons to improve their lives, families and businesses.

Many thanks go to the friendly helping hand between Kiva and Friendship Bridge that helps women fight poverty!