A loan of $2,850 helped a member to purchase supplies for dyeing, needles, and thread for her textile business.

Tzutujil Group's story

The “Tzutuhil” are one of the 21 Mayan indigenous groups that live around Lake Atitlan in Guatemala. It is also the name of the language that is spoken by these proud people. Seven women have formed a Friendship Bridge Trust Bank with this name. They are from the peaceful village of San Juan La Laguna, one of the many small towns that dot Lake Atitlan. Because tourism is increasing in this picturesque area, the women of the Trust Bank create and sell traditional weavings, many of which are dyed using seeds, leaves, charcoal, the bark of trees and the juice of fruits like pomegranates.

These strong-willed women are motivated to create more prosperous lives for themselves and their families. Maria is a 31-year-old single mother, and a prime example of someone who eagerly seeks the tools to elevate herself and her son. Because she grew up in extreme poverty, Maria had little access to formal education. She is seeking her first loan from Friendship Bridge that she will use to purchase supplies for dyeing, needles, and thread for her textile business. Maria creates colorful purses, curtains and bedspreads.

Friendship Bridge not only provides loans to over 20,000 clients, but also incorporates education in the monthly meetings of each Trust Bank. A Loan Officer shares relevant and beneficial information on timely subjects like children’s education and nutrition, effective business management including budgeting, accounting and customer service. Other topics covered include self-esteem and women’s rights as well as medicinal plants and health. It is the combination of the loans and education that makes the Microcredit Plus Program of Friendship Bridge such a wonderful vehicle for these impoverished women to leave poverty behind.
KIVA investors are valuable collaborators with Friendship Bridge and are greatly appreciated. Maria and the six ladies in the “Tzutuhil” Trust Bank are poised to face a brighter, happier and more prosperous tomorrow because of their small loans and education. Thank you, KIVA investors, for your kindness and generosity!

In this group: Maria Gloria, Maria Carmen, Francisca, Juana Rosenda, Ingrid Sucely*, Dominga, Ana, Martha
*not pictured

Loan details

Lenders and lending teams

Loan details