Juana C. R., 37, raises goats. She also has one pig and sells cans of juice in the streets of Nebaj. When she receives this loan, she will take the bus to a fairly distant village to buy as many baby goats as she can– she's hoping to get several. She will then walk home for many hours with the goats instead of taking the bus because she would be charged about US$3/each to bring the goats back by bus. She will leave at 3:00 in the morning and will arrive home well after dark.
Juana has been Friendship Bridge for the past 3 years. During a previous loan she had bought chickens to sell when full grown. The chickens all died after a brief illness so she decided to change to goats and pigs.
Her life has been hard and shows in every way possible. She is trying to work her way out of deep poverty she has experienced for all her life.. Both of her parents died in the Guatemalan civil war of the 1980´s and early 1990´s. And she lost most of the use of her right hand, including three fingers, in the war years.
She is married to a husband who works in the corn fields and they have 5 children. Though she is resource poor she is resourceful and looking forward to a brighter future.
Written by Nancy Lewis and Randy Fay, Kiva Fellows
About Friendship Bridge
This loan is administered by Friendship Bridge (FB), a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization that empowers thousands of impoverished Guatemalan women through its Microcredit Plus program. The program combines small loans averaging US$350 for four-to-twelve month loan terms with non-formal, participatory education.
As FB clients, women start, expand, or diversify their businesses and learn practical lessons on topics including business, health, and self-esteem. FB’s clients borrow as a group, forming Trust Banks (groups of 7-25 women who serve as co-guarantors of the loan and act as a self-regulating support network).