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Total loan: $4,300

Mujeres De Pachali Group

San Juan Sacatepequez, Sacatepequez, Guatemala Department, Guatemala / Arts

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A loan helped to buy clay and firewood for her “comal” business.

Mujeres De Pachali Group's story

An earthenware “comal” is a smooth, flat griddle typically used to cook tortillas in Guatemala and Mexico. The history of cooking on a “comal” dates back to pre-Colombian times when they were used to toast coffee and cacao beans on an open fire, as well as tortillas. Maria, a 47-year-old mother of seven children (14-26), makes “comales” and sells them in nearby neighborhoods. Her income has helped support the education of six of her children who completed the ninth grade. With her first KIVA loan, Maria can buy clay and firewood.

Maria and the six other Maya Kaqchikel ladies in her Trust Bank called “Mujeres de Pachali” have learned a great deal in their monthly educational trainings. These trainings, along with health care services and small loans, are part of the “Microcredit Plus” program of Friendship Bridge. Topics are relevant to their lives and are drawn from an aspect of four subject areas: business, health, family, women. Because the ladies have little or no formal education, the sessions have been creatively designed by a Facilitator who uses pictures, diagrams, role playing and games to share the information. Maria did have the opportunity to go to school but she dropped out early to make clay “comales”.

A KIVA loan will help the ladies with their traditional textile, firewood, pharmacy, fireworks and “comal” businesses, as well as those who sell chicken meat by the pound. From the department of Sacatepéquez in Guatemala, of these women send KIVA investors their gratitude!