Total loan: $950

Desarrollo Y Paz Group

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Chichicastenango, Departamento El Quiche, Quiché Department, Guatemala / Retail

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A loan helped to buy various sizes of firewood.

Desarrollo Y Paz Group's story

Nearly 75% of the rural population of Guatemala uses firewood for cooking and heat. Men, women and children can be seen on the sides of roads, carrying heavy loads on their backs. Lucia, a 37-year-old married mother of three children (aged 9-17), remembers gathering wood as a child. Her parents were quite poor, and Lucia had to help them earn a living so she was unable to attend school.

Now, Lucia buys firewood at the wholesale level and then sells it. She is well-known in her community. Thanks to her income, her oldest child completed elementary school while the rest are still in school. She is requesting her fourth Kiva loan to buy firewood in various sizes.

Lucia and six Maya K’iche ladies look forward to their monthly Friendship Bridge Trust Bank meetings. Their group is called “Desarrollo y Paz” or “Development and Peace.” Making prompt loan payments is a priority at the meetings. Also important are the educational sessions that cover an aspect of four topics: health, family, women, and business. A facilitator designs these sessions using pictures, diagrams, role playing and games to share the information. Effective business-management tools are crucial for the ladies to manage their businesses that include convenience stores, traditional textile fabrication, animal husbandry and firewood sales. Every other month, they have access to basic healthcare services. The combination of loans, education and healthcare is called “Microcredit Plus”. Thank you, Kiva investors!