Total loan: $3,325

Cielo Azul Group

Momostenango, Totonicapán, Totonicapán Department, Guatemala / Services

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A loan helped to purchase an additional sewing machine.

Cielo Azul Group's story

In the department/state of Totonicapan in a rural area only accessible on a bumpy dirt road, seven women meet monthly in the Friendship Bridge Trust Bank “Cielo Azul” or “Blue Sky." They are beginning their first loan cycle with Friendship Bridge and are very excited about the possibilities of enlarging their businesses and increasing income. They operate convenience stores and traditional textile businesses and sell natural medicines.

Elena is the treasurer of the Trust Bank. She keeps careful track of loan payments at the meetings that she then deposits into the local bank. She is 35 years old and has four children. Elena has a traditional textile business and makes ornate colorful traditional blouses called huipiles. Her textiles are of very high quality and there is much demand for them in her area, especially at this time of the year. With the income from her business, she is able to send her children to school and provide the basic necessities for them.

Elena is requesting a loan, which she will use to buy an additional sewing machine that will be especially useful in sewing decor on the huipiles.

The “Microcredit Plus” program of Friendship Bridge combines loans with educational trainings and healthcare services. Because Elena and her group have little or no formal education, the educational trainings are especially important. They learn about an aspect of four main topics: business, health, family, women.