A loan of $3,150 helped a member to purchase thread for weaving.

San Cristobal Group's story

The women of the ‘San Cristobal’ village bank are entering their second loan cycle with Friendship Bridge and are eagerly awaiting the approval of their newly requested loans. The fifteen women know each other well, living as neighbors in a rural village just outside of Chimaltenango. Now, in addition to being neighbors, they are learning to become confidants and support each other in business, sharing ideas for success, and helping one another overcome obstacles. After the success of their first loan, other women took note and have joined the group. The veteran members will teach them about solidarity and responsibility within the group. They are confident of their ability to repay, and excited to take on this new challenge.

All fifteen women are weavers, crafting beautiful "huipiles," the traditional Mayan blouse, whose intricate designs reveal a woman’s hometown, marital status, or beliefs. A single huipil C. take up to three months to produce, working all day. After an initial investment of about $30-$50, it C. be sold for up to $200. The women also save money by weaving for themselves, rather than buying from others.

They are asking for a loan of 24,000 quetzales, about $3150 USD, with which they will purchase thread in bulk to weave the huipiles, as well as skirts and belts and other crafts. Some of the women sell their weaving in markets in the nearby town of Chimaltenango, and most are well known in their own village and receive orders from friends and neighbors. Buying in bulk drastically lowers the cost of thread, and it also cuts back on the trips that must be made to the market to buy materials, saving on time and travel expenses.

The women are excited about their loan and the possibility of better providing for their families. They dream of being able to support their children in school past 6th grade, opening up opportunities for them that will help stop the cycle of poverty within their families.

(The two women who are not pictured had come to the meeting but left to take care of their children before the photo was taken.)

In this group: Maria Leonarda, Maria Elsa, Ana Elsa, Maria Lucia, Christina, Irma Julieta, Clemencia, Valentina Rogelia, Carlota, Ana Florencia, Isabel, Olga Guadalupe, Maria Estela, Irma Cristina*, Fulgencia*
*not pictured

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details