Total loan: $4,100

Montecristo Group

Santa Maria Visitacion, Sololá, Sololá Department, Guatemala / Food

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A loan helped to buy rice, sugar, milk, and firewood for her cafeteria, as well as pigs for a new business!

Montecristo Group's story

Many Guatemalan ladies have food businesses such as small tortilla shops, food carts and small restaurants. Beans and rice are regular staples in the diet. Chicken, turkey, beef and pork are the meats found in many recipes. Of course, corn is widely used, especially for small, fat corn tortillas.

Magdalena, the president of the Montecristo Friendship Bridge Trust Bank, has a small cafeteria. She also sells traditional blouses or “huipiles” and employs eight ladies to help fill orders. Magdalena is 50 years old and has four years of education. She uses some of her income to send her four children (ages 18 to 30) to the university. Magdalena is requesting her first Kiva loan to open a new business raising pigs and she also needs rice, sugar, milk and firewood for the cafeteria.

There are seven ladies in this trust bank, located in the department/state of Solola. They benefit greatly from their monthly educational trainings, part of the Microcredit Plus program of loans, education and health-care services. Topics cover four subjects: business, health, family, and women. Magdalena shares, “It has helped me a lot to learn about starting a new business and how to avoid over-indebtedness.”

Every other month, the women have access to basic health-care services. These “plus” services of educational trainings and health care are essential to the success of Magdalena and her friends in the group. Kiva investors, partnering with Friendship Bridge, are highly appreciated by them. Thank you, Kiva investors!