A loan of $3,225 helped a member invest in materials for their businesses.

Fuente De La Esperanza Group 2's story

When I arrived by boat at the lovely town of Santiago Atitlan, I had to walk up a steep hill to reach the town square where I was picked up by Maria Q., the loan officer. While climbing up the steep hill, I recalled the information I had read about Mayan culture and urbanization. This town was built utilizing the old traditional Mayan ways. This is because the view from the town to the lake and further to the volcanoes gives it really a magical feel.

As soon as I was introduced to the women of the group they woke me up from my dreamy thoughts about Santiago de Atitlan. They exposed how hard it is to live in a town which is overwhelmed by poverty, which in this case was reflected in crime and drug abuse. The 30-year-old civil war has also left a big swath of painful memories, they tell me. Despite all this, the women are very proud of their skilful art and the culture they have managed to protect, says Dolores.

Most of the women are weavers. They weave the typical Santiago de Atitlan guipiles and pantalones: beautiful typical blouses known throughout the country for their handsome embroidery. Artisans will embroider beautiful birds and Mayan symbols. Five of the women work in the art of making jewellery as does Maria, the president. Elena sells fish she imports from the Pacific coast area. And the two other women sell clothes from a little stall in town.

Being part of the trust bank brings the women a lot of enjoyment. Maria tells me that the lessons they had 2 years ago about medicines and family planning were very helpful. They like to get together to talk about their lives. The elder women with years of experience help the younger women to set up a business. They are a close group who have been together for over 5 years! Being able to export their goods is a big dream for some of them. This way they should be able to get a fair price for their goods to keep their families running.

Some of the women desire to send their children to school in the city because there are more chances for a better education and a more promising future. I leave the group with great admiration of their calm but deeply-held views on life and feel they really deserve to have all the successes they dream might come to them.

In this group: Maria, Maria, Dolores, Elena, Magdalena, Candeleria, Dolores, Yeni, Antonia, Conception, Maria, Elena*
*not pictured

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details