A loan of $1,550 helped a member to buy corn and wood in bulk, and tin to cover the work space where she makes tortillas.

Las Misioneras (The Missionaries) Group's story

The eight women in Las Misioneras (The missionaries) live in the area around the town of San Gabriel, Suchitepéquez, Guatemala. They chose the name of their group because they have a mission to make their businesses bigger and more profitable with Namaste’s help. Their businesses include, making tortillas, selling fruits and vegetables, selling other food, and selling used clothing. They work hard, either at home or in the nearby city of Mazatenango, to support their families and keep their children in school. It is for their children that they want their businesses to grow and prosper. They all dream of their children getting an education and having a better life. It is because of this dream that they have eagerly entered the Namaste program that will provide them a business advisor and money management classes in addition to a loan.
Maria Isabel (1st from left) is 43, married, and has a child going to school. She has a 2nd grade education. Her business is selling tortillas close to a famous chicken restaurant, a good location. She gets up very early in the morning to make tortillas. There is no roof over her cooking area and she has to work in the rain during the rainy season. She hires a woman to help her so that she has enough tortillas to sell. With her loan she will buy corn and wood in bulk to get a better price. She will also buy 6 pieces of tin with which to make a roof and enclosure for her cooking area. This is especially important now, as it is the wettest part of the rainy season.
Maria Isabel sells approximately 32,500 handmade tortillas a month, working 234 hours. Her current profit is approximately USD 465. She plans to sell 6000 more tortillas per month when she has more corn and wood. She then expects to have a profit of USD 538. With this 16% increase in profit she will be able to keep her business growing and ensure that her child gets an education.

In this group: Maria Isabel, Teresa, Sandra Angelica, Maria Teresa, Gloria Marina, Pahola Marleny, Karla Majenia, Francisca

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