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Mujeres San Jardin De Jorge I Group
In this Group: Irma Cristina, Rosario, Rosario, Angelina, Concha, Francisca, Ana Maria, Olga, Candelaria*, Regina*
* not pictured

The women of the community bank Mujeres Jardin de San Jorge arrive early for their meeting at the office of Friendship Bridge in Sololá, the region’s capital city, about a fifteen minute bus ride uphill from their town of San Jorge la Laguna. As they wait for the previous meeting to end, they greet each other with hugs and a chorus of ‘buenos dias’ and ‘como estas’, followed by excited chatter in their native language Kaqchiquel. As the other meeting lets out and the women begin to file in, the cream colored room becomes a canvas of brilliant colors, painted by the beautiful and intricate ‘huipiles’ (traditional woven blouses) that each woman wears.

These huipiles are just one of many trades that the women practice. Among the eighteen, about half of them dedicate their time to weaving and sewing skirts (like the ones in the picture), scarves, purses, belts, ribbons that get woven into long braids, as well as huipiles. Ten of the 18 women are asking for a group loan of 26,000 quetzales ($3425), ranging from $150 to $400 per person, five of whom will invest in thread for their artisan business (one of them was not able to be present for the photo). Two women have jewelry businesses, making beaded bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings that they sell in the nearby tourism capital Panajachel. Two women have small stores, selling soft drinks, snacks, chicken and sausages. And one woman, who could not be at the meeting because she was sick, has a tortillería, and will invest in the ingredients necessary for making corn and flour tortillas.

The women of Mujeres Jardin have been with Friendship Bridge for two years, but have been together as a group much longer. They were previously with another institution, but were looking for a lower interest rate, which Friendship Bridge offers. They are more than happy with their new microfinance home, and are excited to see the long-term benefits for their business that less interest will bring. In addition to lower interest, one of their favorite things about Friendship Bridge is the education they receive—they are learning how to better run their business, care for their family, and have a real hope for the future (and they like that they get to play games while they learn, too!).

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
  • 55
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $12,573,175
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 7.6
    Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A portion of Mujeres San Jardin De Jorge I Group's $3,425 loan helped a member these women would like to purchase thread for weaving, as well as beads for jewelry, supplies for a store, and ingredients for tortillas.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
15 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Mar 12, 2008
Feb 24, 2008
Currency Exchange Loss:
May 22, 2009