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Las Cruces Sololatecas Group
In this Group: Santos, Leonarda, Juliana, Marta, Cristina, Florinda, Felipa, Juana, Maria, Josefa, Juana, Paula, Antonia, Olga

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.

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
  • 108
    View loans »
    Guatemala Loans Fundraising
  • $11,638,450
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 7.5
    Guatemala Quetzales (GTQ) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A portion of Las Cruces Sololatecas Group's $3,925 loan helped a member purchase seeds, fertilizers, insecticides.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
15 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Jul 12, 2008
Jun 26, 2008
Currency Exchange Loss:
Oct 3, 2009