A loan of $3,300 helped a member invest in their stores, buy in bulk to raise their profit margin.

San Bartolo Chacaya 1 Group's story

San Bartolo is a small town. The calmness and quiet isn't helping their businesses to go well, says Carmen. Although the women in this group have all known each other for many years, they have never had the time to get to really know each other. Their hard work and many travels to different markets left them little time to socialize.

When one of Cruz's brothers suggested forming a micro-finance group, she became the president of the group. Her business selling fruit helps her to meet new people so forming the group was not difficult at all. The group consists of people whose lands are next to each other: so-called vecinas (neighbours). And together with having some success after their first loan, they have gotten to know each other much better, says Paula. Her business in carrots and potatoes is better after her first loan.

They have their meetings at the office in Sololá. During the meeting they hand in their loan repayment and receive a non-formal education session. They have a lot of fun and there is a lot of laughing going on!

Where most of the women are working in buying and selling food, some of them sew traditional skirts and blouses. Isabel has her store right behind her house and she invested her first loan in big bags of frijoles (beans). When she sold these, she bought more, different kind of beans. Her customers like the diversity of her shop and buy more.

When we talk about what their desires are, the women get very excited and start talking a lot in Kachiquel. After the loan officer's translation, I realise there is something they all work very hard for. The new gained self-esteem and better financial position allows them for the first time to dream. They want their children to do much better than they themselves were ever able to do.

In this group: Cruz, Carmen, Ana, Juana, Valeriana, Leoncia, Paula, Isabel, Maria

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details