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Total loan: $4,225

Mujeres Independientes Group

San Juan la Laguna, Sololá, Sololá Department, Guatemala / Arts

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A loan helped to buy a large quantity of thread and the latest designs for traditional clothing.

Mujeres Independientes Group's story

Living on the shores of the magnificent Lake Atitlan in Guatemala are seven Maya Tz'utujil ladies. They weave/embroider colorful traditional textiles, raise poultry, sell prepared foods or have small artisan stores. Because they envision a more prosperous future for themselves and their families, the women have formed the Friendship Bridge Trust Bank “Mujeres Independientes”. They meet monthly to support each other, make loan payments, and participate in educational trainings that cover an aspect of four topics: business, health, family, and women. Every other month, the ladies have access to basic health care services. Friendship Bridge calls the combination of loans, education and health care “Microcredit Plus”.

The Secretary of the Trust Bank is 25-year-old Berta. She is a single mother who studied for two years to be a teacher. Berta has a five-year-old son who is in kindergarten.

She has a traditional textile business and weaves/sells blouses or “huipiles”, skirts or “cortes” and belts or “fajas”. Berta can sell eight complete outfits monthly. She is requesting her first Kiva loan to buy a large quantity of thread and the latest designs of clothing.

Berta wants Kiva lenders to know how much she benefits from the program. She shares, “We are greatly empowered learning how to manage our businesses, the dangers of over-indebtedness and how to take care of ourselves and our families.” Thank you, Kiva lenders, for the important role you play in the lives of these ladies!