Total loan: $3,800

Del Carmen Group

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San Juan la Laguna, Sololá, Sololá Department, Guatemala / Arts

Del Carmen Group's loan finished fundraising,
but these similar borrowers just need a little more help to reach their goals!

A loan helped to purchase 200 pounds of thread and yarn in various textures and colors, for use making her traditional handicrafts.

Del Carmen Group's story

San Juan La Laguna is a clean and beautiful town on the shores of Lake Atitlan in the Highlands of Guatemala. Many say it is a magical town as it is full of unique art, painted murals and friendly people. It is a peaceful and well-organized town that draws tourists from all over the world.

Seven women have organized themselves into the Friendship Bridge Trust Bank “Del Carmen”. The ladies are happy to report that because of their previous loans generously funded by Kiva investors, they have increased their earnings and expanded their businesses.They are requesting their 3rd loan from Kiva investors.

Rebeca is the Secretary of the Trust Bank who has a shop near the Lake where she sells beautiful scarves, shawls, ponchos, makeup bags, purses, hammocks, and bedspreads. Many of the textiles are dyed using natural dyes, a specialty of the town. She says that during the three loan cycles, she has realized great benefits being a member of the Trust Bank.

Rebeca recalls that at the beginning of her relationship with Friendship Bridge, her inventory was very small and it has grown considerably. She is very pleased. With the new loan that she is requesting, Rebeca would like to purchase 200 pounds of thread and yarn in various textures and colors.

Rebeca has two children and is keenly aware of the value of education for them. Fortunately, the Microcredit Plus Program of Friendship Bridge combines education and small loans and so Rebeca and her friends in the Trust Bank have an opportunity to educate themselves. Each month, a Friendship Bridge Facilitator shares useful information with the ladies using drawings, role playing and games. The women gain valuable business tools as they learn about effective business practices like budgeting, pricing, accounting and customer service. They also learn about women’s and children’s rights, violence against women, as well as how to set goals and dreams. The ladies also learn about health, hygiene and the use of medicinal plants.

It is impossible for an indigenous woman to walk into a bank in Guatemala to secure a loan. Kiva investors play such an important role in the lives of these women when they fund loans. Thank you for your kindness and generosity!