A loan of $3,275 helped a member to purchase weaving equipment, thread, dye and cloth.

Santa Marta Group's story

The women from the Santa Marta community in San Juan, Lake Atitlan enjoy living in their town and prefer to work in groups. Group president Albertina U. described their habits as, “tranquil, united and happy.” All of these women know each other and it is easy to sense that they enjoy being part of a team in which everyone pays back their loans as a group.

The women dedicate themselves to a variety of micro-enterprises. Eight women weave - making hammocks, traditional guipil tops and shoulder bags. Three women resell clothing. The other two raise chickens to sell or butcher. Their buyers are intermediaries who sell items in Panajachel and other villages surrounding Lake Atitlan.

When asked about their businesses, they had mixed feelings. Although sales are continuously growing, the sales were low this season. The winter months of December, January and February bring in much more profit than the rainy season of the spring months.

According to Albertina U., the loans have helped a lot and have allowed them to invest in necessities for their businesses. This will ultimately lead to increased profits. She pointed out that sometimes the cycle of a business is interrupted when an unforeseen expense arises or sales are low. The loans help to keep the businesses stable. However, this cycle is broken when there’s a lack of microlenders.

The loans support their business but more importantly support most of their dreams for the future: “the well-being of their families and the advancement of their childrens' education.”

In this group: Albertina, Martha, Irma, Cecilia, Lucia*, Elena, Maria, Juana, Concepcion, Maria, Maria*, Maria
*not pictured

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details