A loan of $3,625 helped a member to purchase different types of yarn to make textiles.

Esmeralda Nahuala Group's story

Nahualá is one of the rural municipalities of Sololá in the highlands of Guatemala. Approximately 93% of the population lives in the outskirts of the small populated town. The vast majority of the population speaks a Mayan dialect, Kiche, as their first language and to a lesser degree, Spanish. Most of the women have had no formal education. They mostly work in the production of handicrafts and textiles.

The new Friendship Bridge Trust Bank “Esmeraldas Nahualá” is composed of seven women who live in this area. They are requesting loans in order to leave poverty behind and step into a more prosperous and educated future. This will be their very first opportunity to secure a loan from Friendship Bridge and start, sustain or grow their small businesses.

The President of the Trust Bank is 46 year old Juana who is the mother of eight children and has no education. She is married. Juana creates beautiful traditional textiles called “huipiles” and in addition, buys and sells used clothing. Her business is doing well, but Juana wants to invest more capital in her business and is requesting a loan from Friendship Bridge. She will use the funds to purchase different types of yarn and other materials with the goal of improving the quality of her huipiles.

The seven ladies of the Trust Bank “Esmeraldas Nahualá” are most anxious to start their very first loan cycle with Friendship Bridge. They have been preparing for this moment by participating in the non-formal educational training offered at their monthly meetings by a Friendship Bridge loan officer. Topics covered include budgeting and accounting practices, effective business management, women’s rights and self-esteem, as well as nutrition and health.

Doña Juana and the ladies in the Trust Bank appreciate the confidence and generosity of KIVA investors. The combination of capital in the form of microloans and education will help them empower themselves and face a brighter and more prosperous future. They will share their empowerment and success with their families and their rural municipality of Nahualá

In this group: Juana, Francisca, Manuela Aracely, Manuela Claudia, Manuela Matilde, Antonia, Rigoberta Antonia

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Richard Neuman

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