A loan of $2,425 helped a member to purchase seeds and fertilizer, as well as thread for weaving and goods in bulk.


Mujeres Chuisequec Ii Group's story

The women of the community bank Mujeres Chuisequéc enter their meeting at the Friendship Bridge office, their strong faces colored by the wind and the sun they daily endure as they take care of their farms.

They have traveled an hour from their community of Concepción, where the soil is rich and the climate good, allowing for year-round farming. All but two of the eighteen women have small farms, where they grow potatoes, carrots, onions, radishes, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, lemongrass, and chamomile (quite a variety!).

They whisper to each other in their native language Kaqchiquel, eagerly awaiting approval of the loans they have requested.

Eight of the women are asking for a group loan of 18,500 quetzales ($2425), ranging from $150 to $400 each. Of the eight, six will invest in seeds and fertilizer for their farms.

One woman is an artisan, weaving beautiful ‘huipiles’, traditional Mayan blouses known for their intricate and colorful designs. She will invest in thread for her weavings.

Another woman is a ‘comerciante’ (commerce women), buying a variety of goods in bulk and selling them at local markets. With her loan, she will buy a greater quantity of each item, lowering the price per item and increasing her profits.

Each woman of Mujeres Chuisequéc has a family to take care of; some even have up to ten children.

They express that everything they do is to improve the lives of their children so they can receive an education and learn to read and write. This will open them new opportunities and avoid them the suffering their mothers have had to endure.

As they go to sign their names, all but two sign with a thumbprint, indicating they cannot write. But they sign with pride, knowing that with this loan they are doing everything in their power to give their children the right tools to learn and later on sign their names with a pen.

In this group: Marcela, Zoida, Josefa, Jorga, Maria Cristina, Manuela, Maria, Susana
*not pictured



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Loan details