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Sirenas (Grupo Ii) Group
In this Group: Catarina, Gregoria, Josefina, María, Maria, Catarina, Rosario, Rosa, Antonia, Julia*
* not pictured
View original language description ↓

Every three weeks, if you’re passing through the town of Cerro de Oro, you can find the dedicated and driven women of the communal bank Las Sirenas (The Mermaids) gathered for their meeting. Just look for the avocado tree and you’ll find the eighteen women, shading themselves beneath the tree's protective branches, discussing their loans and supporting each other with helpful advice.

The women, though they have no building in which to meet, are determined to better their lives and those of their families. They do so through the art of their beautiful weavings, something their region in Atitlán is widely known for. The women are successful weavers, producing huipiles (intricately woven traditional blouses), skirts, belts, and other traditional clothing items.

Before becoming successful weavers, the majority of these women worked as laborers in a fabric factory. Now, however, they are their own factories, their own bosses, many employing as many as five people to help them meet their demand. To supplement their income as weavers, some of the women have additional businesses, selling fish and crab in the local markets, raising animals, and one woman has a small grocery store.

Ten women of Las Sirenas are asking for a loan of $4,000, with which they will purchase a variety of colorful threads used for weavings. Some of the women will also use part of their loans to invest in feed for their animals and to restock the inventory in their grocery store. The women, seated under the shade of the avocado tree, still reflect the sun in their hope for the future. They are determined to provide education for their children, giving them the future they’ve only dreamed of.

Additional Information

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).

This is a Group Loan

In a group loan, each member of the group receives an individual loan but is part of a larger group of individuals. The group is there to provide support to the members and to provide a system of peer pressure, but groups may or may not be formally bound by a group guarantee. In cases where there is a group guarantee, members of the group are responsible for paying back the loans of their fellow group members in the case of delinquency or default.

Kiva's Field Partners typically feature one borrower from a group. The loan description, sector, and other attributes for a group loan profile are determined by the featured borrower's loan. The other members of the group are not required to use their loans for the same purpose.

About Guatemala

  • $5,300
    Average annual income
  • 71
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $12,593,650
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 7.7
    Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A portion of Sirenas (Grupo Ii) Group's $4,000 loan helped a member to buy threads in a variety of colors, for making thier weavings; To buy products for thier small grocery stores; and to buy livestock animals.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
12 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Mar 14, 2008
Feb 28, 2008
Currency Exchange Loss:
Jan 19, 2009