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Trabajadoras Group
In this Group: Maria, Rosa*, Concepcion, Catarina, Antonia, Elena, Maria, Magda, Rosa, Andrea, Manuela
* not pictured
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The members of the Hard-working communal bank are natives of the town of Santiago of Atitlan. The people of Santiago of Atitlan are very traditional. They preserve their culture even today. As can be seen in the photo, the women dress with the typical suit of the area that consists of a blouse or embroidered dress, a short or long skirt, a cinch or strap and a perraje or scarf. In many towns the tradition is no longer seen so well preserved as in Santiago.

Another interesting aspect of the town where these women live is that some years ago the population was harshly affected by Hurricane Stan. On that occasion, due to the storm, the town was cut off; the roadways were completely closed and the people went for a long time without access to drinking water and fresh food.

Santiago of Atitlan is a town touched by the art. There are many jewelers, weavers, designers and painters at present living in this area. Inside the “Workers” group all the associates work with weavings. Half of the group works weaving embroidered dresses in looms that are tied at one end to their waist. The waist loom technique has passed down from generation to generation. The majority of women begin to learn to weave before the age of ten years approximately.

The other half of the group do embroidery. As can be seen in the photo they make designs of flowers and birds. The time that it takes a woman to embroider an embroidered dress depends exclusively on the work. For example, an embroidered dress that is completely embroidered such as that of the third lady from the left can take three months, while an embroidered dress that is not embroidered entirely like that of the first lady on the right can take an artisan from three to four weeks. The profits can vary from 15 dollars to fifty dollars, depending on the embroidered dress.

Competition is very tough in Santiago due to the high number of artisans, nevertheless these women can do well. The loan is a very useful tool that they can utilize to invest in their business and to make it more profitable since they can buy the thread wholesale or hire labor. If we support them, we are going to give them the opportunity to be noticed and to do well. Support them!

Translated from Spanish by B, Kiva Volunteer.

Las integrantes del banco comunal Trabajadoras son oriundas del pueblo Santiago de Atitlan. La gente de Santiago de Atitlan es muy tradicional, ellos hasta el día de hoy preservan su cultura. Como se puede ver en la foto, las mujeres están vestidas con el traje típico del área que consiste en la blusa o huipil, corte o falda larga, cincho o correa y un perraje o bufanda. En muchos pueblos ya no se ve la tradición tan preservada como en Santiago.

Otro aspecto interesante del pueblo donde habitan estas mujeres es que hace unos años la población fue duramente afectada por la tormenta Stan. En dicha ocasión, debido a la tormenta el pueblo estuvo aislado, las vias de tránsito estaban completamente clausuradas y la gente estuvo por mucho tiempo sin acceso a agua potable y a comida fresca.

Santiago de Atitlan es un pueblo tocado por el arte. Hay muchos joyeros, tejedores, diseñadores y pintores actualmente viviendo en esta área. Dentro del grupo las Trabajadoras todas las clientas trabajan con tejidos. La mitad del grupo trabaja tejiendo huipiles en telares de cintura. La técnica de telar de cintura se ha pasado de generación en generación. La mayoría de mujeres empiezan ha aprender a tejer antes de los diez años aproximadamente.

La otra mitad del grupo son bordadoras. Como se puede ver en la foto ellas tienden a bordar flores y aves. El tiempo que toma una mujer en bordar un huipil depende exclusivamente del trabajo. Por ejemplo, un huipil que está completamente bordado como el de la tercera señora contando desde la izquierda puede demorar hasta tres meses, mientras que un huipil que no está bordado enteramente como el de la primera señora contando desde la derecha puede tomarle a una artesana de tres a cuatro semanas. Las ganancias pueden variar entre 15 dólares a cincuenta dólares, dependiendo del huipil.

La competencia es muy dura en Santiago debido al alto número de artesanas, sin embargo estas mujeres pueden salir adelante. El crédito es una herramienta muy útil que ellas pueden utilizar para invertir en su negocio y hacerlo más rentable ya que pueden comprar el hilo por mayor o contratar mano de obra. Si nosotros las apoyamos vamos a darles la oportunidad a destacarse y salir adelante. ¡Apoyémoslas!

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
  • 68
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $12,393,850
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 7.5
    Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A portion of Trabajadoras Group's $3,225 loan helped a member to buy thread wholesale and hire labor for their business making traditional embroidered dresses.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
14 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
May 14, 2008
Apr 28, 2008
Currency Exchange Loss:
Jun 19, 2009