A loan of $3,500 helped a member to buy seeds to grow potatoes, onions, carrots, as well as fertilizers.

Xejuyu Concepcion Group's story

Conception Sololá, located in Western Guatemala, is known as a valley of indigenous people of Maya-Kakchiquel ethnicity. It is an agricultural area where men, women and children are growing good quality vegetables. The Friendship Bridge Trust Bank, “Xejuyu Concepción,” (meaning “Below the Haze of Conception”) has been located in this region for the last five years. The Trust Bank is composed of seven women who mostly work in agriculture as well as the manufacture of beaded jewelry and ornaments. Two other women have small shops for daily consumption items and a “tortilleria” where tortillas are freshly available three times each day.

Rosario is the 33 year old mother of 5 children. Sadly, she became a widow one year ago when her husband suffered an accident and died. So, Rosario became both mother and father to her children and needed to spend more time and energy for her agricultural business. Rosario is in her third loan cycle with Friendship Bridge. She states, “I was relieved when I knew I could get micro-loans through Friendship Bridge because it is not easy for other institutions to give loans to widows, and even less if that woman is a farmer." Rosario is currently applying for a new loan, which she will use to buy seeds to grow potatoes, onion, carrot, as well as fertilizers.

Both Rosario and the rest of the ladies in the Trust Bank want to share that being a part of the “Xejuyu Concepcion” as united them even more. Previously, they were just neighbors but now they are friends, companions, confidants and much more. They support each other and practice solidarity. The women want to express their thanks to KIVA investors because without this vital financial support, they would be unable to grow and empower themselves. The benefits trickle down to their families and their community as well. It is a “win-win” situation!

In this group: Emilia, Dominga, Maria Magdalena, Martha, Catarina, Rosario, Santos

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