A loan of $5,000 helped a member purchase of cloth, thread, dyes / second hand clothing / Investment in a large greenhouse and in bulk pesticides, seed and fertilizer.

Mayas Kakchiquel Group's story

The Women from the Maya Kakchiquel group live in San Andres, a small, rural village in the mountains above Lake Atitlan. They enjoy living in such a town because of its tranquility and low amounts of crime, according to Maria C.. They expressed contentment with their specific loan group because of the support that the women can provide each other in a friendly atmosphere.

They are mostly mothers who manage to proudly send their children to school, even while managing and investing in the needs of their micro-enterprises. Seven of the group members are dedicated to hand weaving traditional indigenous clothing, another four, to the resale of imported second hand clothing, and another three to the sale and production of food products.

Hand-made guipils traditional top blouses of the high quality that they accustom to sell, usually take one month to produce and sell for amounts between 150 to 220 USD, according to Silvia S.. The resale of clothing is managed by shopping at different used sales stores, finding valuable items, and selling them once more in their town and local, to people interested, hereby gaining a profit. The food producers focus on a series of vegetables, produce and either sell to middlemen or directly at town markets.

When asked about how their businesses were going, there was hesitation, but overall, they were content with the rate of growth and income that it had brought them. This was said, despite their recognition that the price of many things has gone up recently and sales drop for the rainy season.

Nevertheless, these mothers and businesswomen were proud to have their own business which allowed them a sense of empowerment. With the capability to reinvest their money and return higher profits, this struggle is made easier, according to Rosa M., and their work can carry on while they are “satisfied and tranquil.”

Most of the loan that they receive goes to bulk purchasing of the necessary products for their business, be it cloth, threads and dyes for the weavers, or seed, fertilizer and pesticide for the farmers. They continuously need this useful capital to allow them flexibility paying off debts, expanding their business while reinvestment, and living a comfortable life as a family.

Karla C. sells “Ostra” mushrooms in a home-made wooden house specifically to foster mushroom growth. Her mushrooms are sold in the villages at lower altitudes down by Lake Atitlan. Her business, as well as many others of her group partners, has grown, yet she could still use this loan to make it grow even further. She said she would invest the money from loans in building a large greenhouse to produce much more mushrooms at once. Ingrid D. said she would remodel her local store with loan money to attract more customers.

Their dreams with ideal loan sizes only go so far into what it is that makes them perform the way they do. Deep inside, each of these women truly wanted the best for their family (like providing our “kids with education until they have a title” a HS equivalent), to show that they were independent and could actually help out their husbands, while improving their overall living conditions.

In this group: Raquel, Ingrid, Silvia, Angela, Juana, Claudia, Alba, Maria, Zoila, Karla, Demetria, Vicenta, Rosa, Maria De Jesus

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details