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Nueva Santa Catarina Group
In this Group: Maria Antonia, Catarina Felicita, Pascuala Teresa, Antonia, Manuela, Manuela, Manuela, Isabell, Faustina Clara, Manuela Florencia, Catarina

In a modest room lit only by the sun, a woman sweeps the dirt floor and sets out multi-colored plastic chairs in preparation for the ‘desembolsa’, the meeting for the community bank Nueva Santa Catarina where its 11 members will have their requested loans approved. The women gather excitedly, talking rapidly in their native language K´iche´, while their children play in the folds of their dresses, giggling timidly. These women are strong and have endured much, yet more than exhaustion they emit hope and joy. As a community bank, they are proud to have been together eight years, their bank was the first of the now four banks in their small community.

Located about an hour and a half from the region’s capital, Sololá, the 11 women dedicate themselves to the beautiful and intricate art of weaving huipiles, native Mayan blouses. A single huipil can take up to one month to make, and after an investment of about 200 Quetzales (about $25), they can sell it for about 500 Quetzales (about $60). Currently, the women sell their huipiles in the nearby town of Nahuala, and they are well known in their community so customers also come directly to their home to make purchases.

Of the 11 women, almost half can read and write, which is a very large percentage for the area. They are smart in business, and are looking for new ways to expand. They’ve recognized the large number of sales that tourism brings in, and are hoping to implement an export business or connect with a nearby community where tourism is more prevalent than in their town and open a market there. As a group they are asking for a loan of 33,500 Quetzales, about $4400, $400 per person, which they will invest in various colored threads to weave their huipiles. A few of the women are also planning on using part of their loan to hire extra help so they can increase the rate of production and make more sales.

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
  • 40
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $12,387,300
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 7.6
    Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A portion of Nueva Santa Catarina Group's $4,400 loan helped a member to purchase thread for weaving and hire extra help.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
15 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Mar 9, 2008
Feb 23, 2008
Currency Exchange Loss:
May 22, 2009