Total loan: $4,300
Las Marias De San Jose Chiriju Group
Tecpán, Chimaltenango, Chimaltenango Department, Guatemala / Agriculture
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A loan helped to buy strawberries, seeds, and to buy chickens.
Las Marias De San Jose Chiriju Group's story
When Las Marias de San Jose Chiriju formed a Trust Bank and realized three of their members were named Maria, it seemed only fitting to name the group Las Marias de San Jose Chirijuyu (The Marias of San Jose). Recently, we spoke to one of the Marias to gain insight into their Trust Bank. Maria, 48 years old, is married to a farmer and has nine children. She has farmed for many years along with her husband, Bernardo. Years ago, she was also a weaver, like many other women in her community. However, with her loans through Friendship Bridge, she has branched out and started a business selling vegetables and livestock in Guatemala City. Maria and her husband are skilled entrepreneurs. They keep money flowing in their local economy by buying crops from farmers in their village and then transporting the crops, along with their own strawberry harvest, to the wholesale market in Guatemala City. To begin this business they used a loan to build a storage facility to safely keep the products until they were transported. Recently they have also started selling livestock. A new loan would give Maria the opportunity to plant more strawberries and to buy chickens. Maria has many goals for her business, but most of all she wants to earn income to enhance her children’s education. Her hard work is paying off as her oldest child is about to graduate from high school. Maria explains, “I completed a few years of primary school, but my parents could no longer support my education so I started working. Now, with microloans that I invest in my business, I can earn enough to keep my children in school. I am so excited that one of my children will graduate this year!” Maria and all of the Trust Bank members thank each individual through Kiva, for the effort made to invest in them, even without knowing them personally. Las Marias de San Jose Chiriju Trust Bank recognizes the responsibility that comes with great confidence like this. All eight women have created a circle of friendship and support. They are determined to stay together to enhance the lives of their families through Friendship Bridge’s microloans and education.