Total loan: $3,850

La Estrella De Camanchaj Group

Chichicastenango, Departamento El Quiche, Quiché Department, Guatemala / Arts

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A loan helped buy a large quantity of good-quality thread to weave more fabric, plus shawls, napkins and other products to sell in her shop.

La Estrella De Camanchaj Group's story

The beautiful rural community of Camanchaj is high in the mountains near Chichicastenango in Guatemala. Most of the people in the town speak K’iche with a small percentage who speak Spanish. The women of Camanchaj make gorgeous and exquisitely handmade textiles. Besides textiles, some women also make crafts and have animal husbandry businesses.

Camanchaj is the home of the Friendship Bridge Trust Bank “Estrellas de Camanchaj” (Stars of Camanchaj) with its eight members, including the leader of this group, Josefa, who is 23 years old and has a two-year-old son. Her son is her inspiration for working hard in order to create a good future for them both.

Josefa weaves fabrics that she sells in her community. A couple of times a week, she goes to the market-place where she has a small shop to sell her fabrics. She is asking for a 29,600 GTQ loan to be apportioned among her group. With her share she will buy a large quantity of good-quality thread to weave more fabric. She would also like to buy some shawls, napkins and other finished products to sell in her shop. Josefa is grateful she has been able to obtain a loan through Friendship Bridge.

In Guatemala it is impossible for Maya women to borrow funds for their businesses. Kiva's field partner Friendship Bridge provides members microcredit and non-formal educations via their “Microcredit Plus” program. During the monthly meetings, the Trust Bank Facilitator provides lessons in important subjects that the women can use on a daily basis. Very important for the development of their credit standings are business subjects like accounting, bookkeeping, sound investment practices, customer service and marketing. This is a win-win program that helps Josefa and the other 22,000 clients have a brighter future and for the women to provide good educations for their children.

Many thanks to the KIVA investors around the world who are helping the rural Maya women of Guatemala empower themselves and develop sound businesses. They are poised to step into a brighter future benefitting themselves, their families and their communities.