A loan of $5,125 helped a member to buy raw materials in bulk.

Las Manzanas Group's story

Ten very cheerful women belong to Las Manzanas Trust Bank, which is located in the small community of Panimá, Totonicapan, Guatemala. Totonicapán is one of the leading producers of crafts in Guatemala. Crafts are in high demand because of the quality and uniqueness of the products.

Las Manzanas Trust Bank is in its sixth loan cycle with Friendship Bridge and is composed of some original members and a few new recruits. The women welcome all visitors to their community with the following words: "Totonicapán – land of apples, and pines, and beautiful women."

One of the group members, who is as enthusiastic as all of her Trust Bank members combined, is Santos. Named after holy week in Guatemala -- because that was when she was born -- Santos is 62 years old and has nine children.

Santos purchases plain, raw yarn and then makes her own dyes to create a variety of colored yarn, which she then sells. She started her business 24 years ago after learning the trade from her husband’s family. Santos then taught her children the technique, so now they also participate in the business.

Santos is planning to use her new micro-loan to buy raw materials in bulk because the price is much better in bulk, and demand for her products is growing. In fact, one customer, who lives three and a half hours away, is requesting to have orders delivered every 15 days. Santos is thrilled with how well her business is going and now regularly employs three people. She hopes that if she continues to grow her business, she will be able to hire more employees.

Santos is very thankful to all the KIVA lenders for giving her the opportunity to improve her business, which not only helps her but also benefits her children. Las Manzanas Trust Bank is grateful to the KIVA investors for the loans. Thanks to the financial "hand up," the Trust Bank members can move forward with their businesses even in tough economic times.

In this group: Santos , Guadalupe Matilde , Rosmery Andrea Elizabeth , Vicenta Veronica , Mercedes Florinda , Rosa Candelaria , Berta Marisela *, Silvia Paola , Lucia Antonia , Veronica Soledad
*not pictured

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details