Total loan: $6,375

Artesanas Santiago Group

Santiago de Atitlán, Sololá, Sololá Department, Guatemala / Arts

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A loan helped to purchase a variety of typical fabrics and many different colored threads for embroidering.

Artesanas Santiago Group's story

The charming and bustling town of Santiago Atitlán is located by a lagoon on the south side of Lake Atitlán, which is about 5,226 feet above sea level. Although in northern climates, the altitude would make it chilly, Santiago Atitlán usually has a spring-like temperature.

Many tourists love to visit the town because of the strikingly bright colors that are the inspiration and hallmark of the “huipiles” (traditional blouses) proudly made and worn by the local Tz’utujil speaking Maya women. Along with the bright flowers on the “huipiles” seen in the above photo, they are also known for their many embroidered bird designs.

Ten women, who did not have the opportunity for a formal education, formed the Friendship Bridge Trust Bank “Artesanas Santiago” (Santiago Artisans). The women have spent many years in the artisan and craft business of weaving and embroidering fabrics for “huipiles” that have been commissioned by clients. Some of the women also raise chickens.

“Artesanas Santiago’s” president is Micaela, who is married with two children. Right now, the demand for her textiles is very high and she is getting many orders for her “huipiles.” She is requesting a loan to purchase a variety of typical fabrics and many different colored threads for embroidering. Micaela hopes that in buying these textile supplies, she will be able to improve her “huipiles,” increase her customer base, and generate more income.

Micaela and her Trust Bank companions enjoy being clients of Friendship Bridge through many loan cycles. They have had the opportunity to learn about gender equity, good business investments, and holistic health. These topics and many more are a part of Friendship Bridge’s “Microcredit Plus” program of micro loans and non-formal education that has proven to be a win-win combination for the women, helping them to move from poverty to a brighter and more successful future.

Thank you to all Kiva investors who have contributed to their support and had faith in their ability to move ahead and create a more prosperous tomorrow, benefitting themselves, their families, and their community in Santiago Atitlán!