A loan of $2,500 helped a member purchase of thread, dyes, weaving equipment by bulk.

Chuacante Ii Group's story

The women from the Mujeres Chuacante II community are proud to live in a closely knit community where almost everyone knows everyone. They are happy to work in their group since they help each other by reminding of payment and meeting dates. They are happy to live in San Pedro and to have businesses there.

These women are dedicated to weaving microenterprises. They weave local vestige items such as guipils and cortes (pictured in group photo)and sell them to a local consumer market in San Pedro and Santiago. Sometimes they set up their own locals or stands at the town markets that meet once a week; if not, they sell to intermediaries who then distribute their products to the region’s towns.

Magdalena A. described her process as a cycle, where she invests in materials such as thread dyes and machinery, producing more finished items for less. She then sells them for larger profits, and takes the extra profits for living, while reinvesting the remainder. In this manner she hopes to nurture her business to reach a level where profits are large enough to perpetuate the cycle on its own without the need of loans, and of course, with a much more comfortable living standard for her, her husband and her children. Her children all attend school and she hopes to be able to continue to send them to school without interruption.

They expressed contentment with the help that the loans have brought their businesses, yet are frustrated by the slump in sales caused by the rainy season and the lull caused by the global economy. Nevertheless, the vast majority of these San Pedro women are content with the rate of growth that they have achieved with their businesses and that that they expect to achieve with the continual help of these essential loans.

The general consensus was that this money would go towards more base materials such as thread, dyes and weaving equipment. They need the loan more than ever due to the slump in profits. With the extra capital, they will hopefully be able to continue a comfortable life, produce the same amounts of items (guipils generally take about two weeks to make and cortes take about 3, according to Jesus C.) despite their lows in sales.
There was no complaints about market oversaturation and harsh competition, as they mostly enjoy of sales to intermediaries who find the best markets, or other towns which lack weavers of the same sort.

The majority of these business owners agreed that their main priority was raising healthy and happy children who can go to school full time, without having to help the family with work. They were proud to tell me that all of their children go to school (they are all mothers except two.) Apart from children, they look to maintain a balance between dependence on their husbands and making a share of the profits, according to Gloria C., to prove themselves for their own satisfaction, their husbands and larger family.

Gloria and others look forward to the day that the hard work of profit reinvestment will lead them to a large, healthy business which is independent and functions with a smooth cycle, no longer in need of loans for their growth and profits. The profits, although simply an economic term to them, are synonymous with a future happy and prosperous family life and children who go on to beat most of the troubles that their parents are currently battling to go beyond.

In this group: Elena, Gloria, Josefa, Florinda, Dolores, Jesus, Dolores

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