A loan of $525 helped purchase yarn for weaving.


Magdalena's story

Magdalena B. B., 43, weaves traditional Mayan women's clothing, including shawls, huipiles, and head dressings which are quite unique in this region. The huipiles are special women's tops that can take up two months to make, depending on the details and the design. Her customers are the women of the town who are in need of a new huipil and will pay up to US$275 for her weavings. She has taught all her daughters this traditional Mayan art that has been created in the same way for 400 years.

Magdalena lost her husband four months ago after a four-year battle with tuberculosis. She now is the sole support of her 6 children and she somehow manages to send all her children to school, except for the youngest who will attend next year. Magdalena struggles with some stomach problems; the kids are generally healthy, but have not come to terms with the loss of their dad. In order to purify their drinking water they boil it. They do not have electricity and she cooks by wood. She speaks Ixil, the Mayan language spoken in Nebaj. Unlike many people, she does own enough land to grow corn to feed her family.

With this loan she will buy more yarn to weave and some stock for the small store she is developing. Her ultimate goal is to weave enough so she can purchase enough product to fully stock her little store.

Written by Nancy Lewis and Randy Fay, Kiva Fellows.



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