FIDESMA Provides Microloans to the Mayan Women

Fall 2006 InGear

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Meet the Mujeres Maya (Mayan Women) Kaqiqoel of Santa Caterina de Barahona, Guatemala. Five years ago they formed a cooperative of 10 women with the idea to sell their traditional weavings in the tourist markets. To start their business, they received a microloan from the proceeds of bicycle sales by our partner FIDESMA. Today they have a stall in the major tourist town of Antigua where they sell their goods daily. What makes their weaving so special is that it is done using the traditional Guatemalan hand loom. This type of weaving has been passed down by Guatemalan women for hundreds of years. Elva Perez (far left) is the main vendor for the group. She goes to the market every day and speaks with tourists from all over the world. With careful detail she explains what all the symbols on the weavings mean. The microloan from FIDESMA allowed them to start this small business and provide for their families while holding onto their traditions.

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