A loan of $3,925 helped a member purchase seeds, fertilizers, insecticides.

Las Cruces Sololatecas Group's story

The Las Cruces group resides in Solola, the municipal capital of the Solola state (Lake Atitlan Region), a mountainous perch overlooking Lake Atitlan. The businesswomen expressed contentment with their neighborhoods and town, noting that there were low levels of alcoholism and crime. When asked about the microfinance community Felipa J. said, “we are all like family,” referring to the mutual support in repaying and attending meetings that they give each other.

These entrepreneurs are dedicated to growing vegetables in their family-run fields and selling them in the convenient Solola market. They farm year-round and harvest 3-4 times a year, allowing them to keep consistent sales in the market. Some of the vegetables that they grow include cauliflower, onions, carrots, potatoes, herbs, and cilantro.

Their sales peak on Sundays during market day, and have been consistent enough to maintain entire families at a sustainable earn/spend rate. These loans allow the farmers to think about increasing their output through investment in wholesale seed and fertilizer. Paula C. said that she would buy fertilizer by the pound rather than by the ounce. Some of these women lack tools for the fields where their husbands (and some employees) work. With the increased output, their 3-4 harvests per year would give them a higher yield and consequently more money to invest in their enterprise and in a good quality of life.

The hard work and growth is not solely for having more money. It is, according to Santa Cuj, to be proud about the success of their whole family’s lifelong work, and to be able to send all of their kids to school while having some extra money to live well with. Their dreams include to be happy, to have more clothes, and to build a better house.

Don Jorge was included in the picture because he went to collect his sister´s loan due to her illness.

In this group: Santos, Leonarda, Juliana, Marta, Cristina, Florinda, Felipa, Juana, Maria, Josefa, Juana, Paula, Antonia, Olga

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Lenders and lending teams

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