A loan of $4,125 helped a member to buy different fabrics and thread.


Vision Group's story

In the hills of San Francisco el Alto, Totonicapán, Guatemala, where many people are engaged in clothing production, animal husbandry, and weaving, lives María and her family. María is a 30-year old married mother of two. Although María was only able to attend school through sixth grade, she now has high hopes for the future of her children.

For many years María and her husband have run a small business making garments. It was not until three years ago that María realized that, in order for her business to continue to grow, she would need additional funding. As her clients’ demands for her product increased, María knew she would need to buy more raw materials than she could currently afford. As María explains, "we must seize the opportunities presented to us and not ignore them, because they only come once." It was at this point that María decided to join Friendship Bridge’s Microcredit Plus program.

María recruited other women in her community to join with her and founded the Vision Trust Bank. María is very happy and proud of herself and her fellow Trust Bank members for having the courage to take out loans and invest in their businesses. María’s loan has ensured that she and her husband always have the necessary materials on hand to produce what their clients order. María's greatest achievement has been to provide employment for three more people (one woman and two men), meaning her microloan not only impacts her and her family but also her community.

With this new loan, María plans to buy different types of fabrics and thread to diversify the products that she can produce. She currently delivers 25-30 orders of garments to her suppliers twice a month. María’s Trust Bank is about to begin its fifth loan cycle, providing nine women with funds that will help them develop their businesses. In addition to receiving loans, these women meet once a month to receive training from Friendship Bridge and to discuss topics such as business management, budgeting, self-esteem and health. These lessons not only provide the women with valuable information regarding their businesses and their family’s health, but also foster a community of support among the women.

In this group: Maria Elvira , Florinda , Marta Vicenta *, Alicia Susana , Cecilia , Juana , Encarnacion , Isabel Reyna , Maria *, Paulina
*not pictured



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