A loan of $3,375 helped a member to buy more chickens, and to keep her business healthy and her clients satisfied.

Utatlecas Group's story

“Utatlecas” meaning “Women from Santa Lucía Utatlán” is the name of the Friendship Bridge Trust Bank composed of eight hard-working and determined women in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. Santa Lucía Utatlán is a land where the population keeps their cultural and historical traditions alive.

Catarina, a 41-year-old member of the Trust Bank, has had three years of formal education, and has two children. Catarina sells chicken in a small stall in front of her house. Her business has been growing and she now caters for big events like anniversaries, birthdays and weddings. In order to expand her business, Catarina needs to inject additional capital and so she is requesting a new loan from Friendship Bridge that she will invest in more chickens. She wants to be certain to keep her business healthy and her clients satisfied. Catarina is very pleased that with her income, she is able to meet the educational expenses of her daughters. One of them is about to graduate with a teaching certificate and Catarina wants her to obtain even more education at university level.

The success of the women in the Trust Bank is due to their own determination as well as the tools that they gain in the “Microcredit Plus” Program of Friendship Bridge that combines the small loans and education. The ladies in the Trust Bank know that at each of their monthly meetings, they will gain practical business and personal tools from a Friendship Bridge Loan Officer. They learn about timely subjects like how to properly manage their businesses (budgeting, accounting, marketing, customer service, pricing) as well as the dangers of over-indebtedness. The women understand the importance of good nutritional practices and learn about health, hygiene and the use of medicinal plants. They also learn about women’s and children’s rights, violence against women and discrimination.

Catarina and her friends in the “Utatlecas” Trust Bank are poised to step into a brighter future along with their family members and their community in the Guatemalan Highlands, but they are unable to walk into a local bank and secure a loan. KIVA investors fufill a most important part of the Friendship Bridge “Microcredit Plus” Program by supplying capital for these essential loans. Catarina and the ladies in the Trust Bank are most appreciative to each of you. Thank you!

In this group: Carmen Margarita, Juana Margarita, Catarina, Gloria Francisca, Lucia Maria, Irma Martina, Catarina

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