A loan of $6,225 helped a member to Increase her textile inventory.

Flor Del Lago Santa Catarina Group's story

Santa Catarina is a small town on the shore of beautiful Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Tourists explore and buyartisan goods, school children play games during their recess breaks, and pickup trucks and tuc-tucs (small taxis) whizz by.

Eleven women applied to receive another loan with Friendship Bridge. The group is called Flor del Lago Santa Catarina, which means Flowers of the Lake Santa Catarina. For many, it is their 10th or 15th loan. They chatter away in Kaqchikel (one of the many indigenous languages in the area) and anticipate with excitement the arrival of the loan officer and the opportunities he brings.

Maria is 47 years old and has been a member of the Flor del Lago trust bank the longest. Her business is buying and reselling typical Guatemalan goods such as huipiles (traditional blouses), textiles (such as tablecloths and tapestries), and bracelets.

She requests a new loan to buy more textiles and have a greater variety of goods to sell. She appreciates the investment that Friendship Bridge and Kiva investors are making in order to support her and the other members of the Flor del Lago trust bank. Maria says, “With this investment, my business will grow even more. It has changed the life of my family and it is a huge support.”

Maria didn’t have the opportunity to go to school. Unfortunately, this is the norm. Eight of the eleven women didn’t attend school at all and the other three only had minimal primary education. However, all of the women realize the importance of an education. Another woman in the group, Doña Virginia is a single mother and says, “Without Friendship Bridge, I wouldn’t be able to send my kids to school. With this support, I can.” She happily reports that her four school-age children are in school.

Maria, Virgina and all of the women in Flor del Lago want to thank Kiva investors. They say it is a huge help and even though they can’t come to know everyone who invests in them, it makes them very happy that there are people who support them.

In this group: Juana Lopez, Marcelina Sajvin, Matea Cotzal, Virginia Lopez, Maria Nimacachi, Maria Lopez, Ana Nimacachi, Sonia Leticia Sajvin, Antonia Nimacachi, Guadalupe Cotzal, Maria Rosario Pablo

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Lenders and lending teams

Loan details