A loan of $5,375 helped a member to purchase beads by the kilo and create new and unique designs.


Luz De Vida Group's story

Santiago Atitlán lies on an inlet between the volcanoes of Tolimán and San Pedro on the shores of beautiful Lake Atitlán in Guatemala. It is the largest of the communities on the lake with great natural beauty, cultural riches and a strong indigenous identity. The population is around 46,000 and those who live here are called “Atitecos”. The vast majority are Tz'utujil Maya, and both men and women dress in the colorful and traditional manner.

The Friendship Bridge Trust Bank, “Luz de Vida” or “Light of Life”, is located here and is made up of eleven women. As the town is a magnet for tourism, artesians including most of the ladies in the Trust Bank create and offer all kinds of traditional crafts like beaded items and textile treasures. This is the first loan cycle for the eleven women and they are most excited and anxious to add capital to their small businesses.

The President of the Trust Bank is 32-year-old Rosa who attended school until the 4th grade. She is very motivated and takes her job seriously. She is a textile artist and creates beautifully adorned traditional belts called “fajas” that are embelished with beads and other materials. Rosa works out of her home and her children assist her so it becomes a family affair. She is requesting a loan to purchase beads by the kilo in order to create new and unique designs with the goal of increasing sales. The motivation of this dedicated woman is to be able to take care of the needs of her family, including the education of her five school-age children.

Rosa speaks for the ten women of the Trust Bank when she emphasizes the importance of the educational components of the monthly meetings, presented by a Friendship Bridge Loan Officer. The ladies want to be successful in their small businesses and so they are eager to learn how to come up with a successful business plan and budget. They want to learn about customer service. In addition, they are anxious to learn how to empower themselves with knowledge about self-esteem and women’s rights. The members of the Trust Bank want to steer their children into a successful future and so they are happy to learn how to get them ready for school and how to support them with healthy nutritious meals and good hygienic practices.

Thank you, KIVA investors, for funding the loans for the “Luz de Vida” Trust Bank. Each of you is a strong beam of light in the lives of these women! You can look forward to reading about their progress in a future report.

In this group: Juana , Rosario , Concepcion , Magdalena , Maria , Maria , Magdalena , Andrea , Rosa , Antonia , Micaela Elizabeth
*not pictured



Loan details


Lenders and lending teams




Loan details