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Tzolojya Group
In this Group: Anita, Rosita, Francisca, Tomasa*, Vicenta, Matea, Isabel, Jesus, Juana, Rebeca, Pabla, Santos
* not pictured
View original language description ↓
The members of the Tzolojya group come from the regional capital of Sololá. As you can see in the photo, all of the members are Kachikel Maya. The Kachikel Maya are one of Guatemala’s largest indigenous groups. The native language of the members is Kachikel, though the women can also speak Spanish perfectly. This is because they live in an area where there is much business and they interact with both indigenous people and Spanish speakers.

There are some successful businesswomen in the Tzolojya communal bank. Citibank awarded one of them with a prize for the best woman-owned small business in Guatemala for 2007. She makes beaded jewelry for a living. At the moment she has the help of five other artisans who support her in her business.

The participating members invest their loans in different areas. For example, there are businesswomen who invest their loan in purchasing American, Guatemalan, or traditional clothing for resale in Sololá. Others invest in their tortilla shops. Tortillas are a basic staple of the Guatemalan diet, so there is always much demand for them. One woman purchases vegetables in the Sololá market, rents a pick-up truck, and then goes to Quiché to sell the produce. Another woman gets up very early in the morning to buy vegetables from the farmers in the market and then sells the vegetables during the course of the day. One member makes approximately a thousand tamales and chuchitos (small Guatemalan tamales) a day, which she sells on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Sundays.

One of the women dreams of seeing her business grow to the point where it will generate sufficient income for her to open a retirement account at the bank. Many other members wish for their businesses to grow so that they will have the income to support their children’s development.

Translated from Spanish by Chris Knutson, Kiva Volunteer

Las integrantes del grupo Tzolojya provienen de la cabecera departamental de Sololá. Como se puede ver en la foto, todas las integrantes son Mayas- Kachikeles. Los Mayas- Kachikeles es uno de los grupos indígenas más numerosos de Guatemala. La lengua materna de las integrantes es el Kachikel, sin embargo las señoras se comunican perfectamente en el español. Esto se debe a que viven en un área donde hay mucho comercio y se mezclan indígenas y hispano hablantes.

En el banco comunal Tzolojya uno puede encontrar empresarias exítosas. Una de ellas ganó el premio otorgado por el Citibank a la mejor micro empresaria de Guatemala del año 2007. Ella se dedica a la producción de joyas de mostacilla. Por el momento ella cuenta con la ayuda de cinco otras artesanas que la apoyan con su negocio.

Las clientes participantes invierten sus créditos en distintas áreas. Por ejemplo hay empresarias que invierten su crédito en la compra de ropa americana, Guatemalteca o típica para su reventa en Sololá. Otras invierten en sus tortillerías. Las tortillas es un alimento básico de la dieta de la población Guatemalteca, es por eso que tienen una mucha demanda. Hay una señora que compra las verduras en el mercado de Sololá, alquila un pick up, y se va a vender sus productos al Quiche. Otra señora se levanta muy temprano en la mañana le compra las verduras a los agricultores en el mercado y vende las verduras durante el transcurso del día. Una de las clientas produce aproximadamente mil tamales y chuchitos al día y estos los vende todos los martes, viernes y domingo.

El sueño de una de las clientas es el de ver sus negocios crecer al punto donde este pueda generar los suficientes ingresos para que ella pueda abrir una cuenta de pensiones en el banco. El sueño de muchas de las clientas es el de que su negocio crezca para que con los ingresos ellas puedan apoyar el desarrollo de sus hijos.

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
  • 107
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $11,638,450
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 7.4
    Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A portion of Tzolojya Group's $4,725 loan helped a member purchasing clothing to sell; purchasing beads for making jewelry; purchasing corn for making tortillas and supplies for tamale production; purchasing vegetables.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
15 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Jun 16, 2008
Jun 1, 2008
Currency Exchange Loss:
Sep 17, 2009