Total loan: $3,875

Los Celajes Group

Flag of Guatemala
Santa Cruz del Quiche, El Quiche, Quiché Department, Guatemala / Arts

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A loan helped to purchase bulk quantities of clothing.

Los Celajes Group's story

Quiché, meaning “many trees”, was the name of pre-conquest Guatemala and was derived from the forested landscape of the area. The Quichés have left one of the few indigenous documents to describe their history before the Conquest. The “Popol Vuh”, the sacred book of the Quiché nation, was written in the Quiché language using the Roman alphabet a few years after the Conquest. It tells of the creation of the world and of the wanderings of the ancestors of these proud people. It is reminiscent of the Christian Bible. Quiché or Santa Cruz del Quiché is the name given to a busy and populated municipality in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. With a desire to create and sustain or grow their small businesses, nine women have gathered together in Quiché to form the Friendship Bridge Trust Bank “Los Celajes”. Their ultimate goals are to join with their husbands to generate enough income to support their families and see their children complete their formal education. Their businesses include commercial sales of clothing, cosmetics, sausages, and snacks. Otilia is 52 years old and leader of the Trust Bank group. She is single and has one son. Otilia has two businesses that she started a few years ago: the sale of snacks and the fabrication and sale of aprons. She is requesting a loan from Friendship Bridge to add an additional business - the purchase of clothing in bulk for resale. She also wants to buy thread and fabric for her apron business, as well as ingredients for her snack sales. The ladies of “Los Celajes” Trust Bank not only need financial capital in the form of loans but also new educational tools. They receive these new tools in the form of educational seminars at their monthly meetings. Some of the topics covered include nutrition, health and hygiene as well as the use of medicinal plants. The women also learn about self-esteem. They learn to manage their loans with information about business planning, budgeting, accounting, marketing and customer service. Friendship Bridge calls this valuable combination of education and loans “Microcredit Plus”. KIVA investors are greatly valued by the women of the Trust Bank for their generosity and kindness in funding these much needed loans. We look forward to reporting on the progress of Otilia and her friends in the Trust Bank “Los Celajes”. Thank you, KIVA investors!