A loan of $4,600 helped a member purchase thread for weaving güipiles.

Jardin Atiteca Group's story

The Jardin Atiteca community from Cerro de Oro is a very small community next to the smallest hump of a volcano in Lake Atitlan. The people enjoy living in such a community where everyone knows everyone. The festive seasons of Christmas and the town fair bring everyone together and give a boost in sales.

Their microenterprise consists of weaving the traditional güipil, the top of the indigenous Mayan outfit, either as a family or with employees (up to 8). To do so, they use the telar de cintura, a weaving method by which one person can weave a güipil in about one day. They then sell this piece for about 150 quetzales (20 USD) to buyers, whether intermediaries, personal contacts or shoppers in the nearby villages of Santiago de Atitlan and San Lucas. Intermediaries take the clothing and sell it to women all around the lake, including women in Panajachel, Solola and Patzun.

There was consensus among the group that their businesses were doing well, since they sell a type of clothing that is not produced very much within Santiago and San Lucas. This low level of competition allows them to sell almost as fast as they produce. So the only thing keeping them from selling more is their limited capital to invest. This is why they are loyal as a group to microlenders and have rarely missed or paid late.

According to the women, the credit has helped their business grow. They can now buy wholesale thread, cloth and dyes. The credit not only helps them buy their materials at a cheaper price, but also helps them be able to produce more items at once. Then, with their savings, they can repay the loans bit by bit.

The clients emphasized that these extra sales allow their business to grow, but most importantly, allow for an increase in income which serves to pay for their children’s educational needs, medicine, and clothing. In addition, this extra money allows them to continue to expand their business, while living a more comfortable life.

In this group: Petrona, Asunción, Gregoria, Paulina, Margarita, Maria, Julia, Rosa, Nicolasa, Juana, Juana, Rosa, Felipa, Maria, Barbara*, Nicolasa, Josefa
*not pictured

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