Total loan: $3,425

Artesanas Santa Catarina Group

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Santa Catarina Polopo, Sololá Department, Guatemala / Arts

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A loan helped to increase her inventory.

Artesanas Santa Catarina Group's story

Santa Catarina Palopo is a small town built on a steep hillside on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. Those who live there are Maya-Kakchikel and proudly practice their cultural and linguistic traditions. The women wear particularly beautiful “traje” or traditional costume, in shades of blues and greens. The Friendship Bridge Trust Bank “Artesanas Santa Catarina” meaning “Artisans from Santa Catarina” was formed here and consists of seven dedicated and hardworking women. They share the common goal of creating more successful and prosperous lives for themselves and their families. Petrona is one of them and she is a shining example of a woman who has worked very hard and made a success of herself. She is 43-years-old and has seven children. Two of her children, who were in school, have already graduated. Petrona makes high end textiles and sells them in tourist markets throughout Guatemala. Because of the excellent quality of her work, her products enjoy high demand. Petrona is requesting a loan that she will use to increase her inventory. From other vendors, she wants to purchase bags and purses of various sizes, scarves, shawls, belts, typical blouses called “huipiles” as well as supplies for her own textile business including thread. Petrona employs seven women in the community of Santa Catarina who are motivated, skilled and have a good work ethic. The ladies are most pleased to have employment. “Microcredit Plus” is the name that Friendship Bridge gives to the combination of small loans and participatory education. Each month, a Loan Officer from the organization shares timely information with Petrona and the ladies in the Trust Bank about relevant topics like women’s rights, violence against women and self-esteem, effective business management practices as well as hygiene, health and nutrition. Petrona and each of the women in the Trust Bank appreciate the support of Kiva investors. They are determined to use their loans wisely, to empower themselves and eliminate poverty. Being able to access capital is so very important to them. Thank you, Kiva investors!