Stories

Irma

Irma is a very active woman. Together with her husband they sell different types ceviches in the area around the park in their city. This is a way of supporting their family for more than 15 years.

With the money from the microloan project, Irma and her husband were able to buy a second cart and expand their business.

Irma says the secret to winning customers is in the preparation. She makes mixtures of vinegars with spices in order to give a better flavor to their products.

Irma is very happy because her children are progressing in school and her daughter will soon graduate.

Magalí

Magalí, 29 years old, is  a very kind person, her family as well, and the children are quite active and lively. When we (ADEHGUA staff) go to see their activity, the children always tell us how the pigs, ducks and chickens are doing or about how their mother’s sale of meat and vegetables is going.  The children show us where to find each of the animals and tell us what they do during the day.

Magalí and her husband have 3 children: a 7-year-old daughter, and 4-year-old and 2-year-old sons. Her husband works on a farm, and also cuts and sells firewood and grows corn.

Magalí uses her loan to do such things as raise pigs, hens, and ducks; on Wednesdays each week she buys meats and vegetables at the market in a nearby town and sells these to families in her community.

 

Last year, her husband lost his full-time position at work and now only has a part time job. Previously he earned the equivalent of $150.00, now he earns $75, so the economic situation of the family became very difficult for them.  Magalí was able to buy more chickens and pigs and also sell more meat and vegetables to families in the community, so she has been able to provide more income for the family. 

 

Magalí is responsible and participates in both the activities of the training project and meetings of the microcredit project. Her young children, who are not yet in school, always accompany her to meetings.

Any

Any, a member of the microloan group "Women Uniting Efforts", is the mother of two children, ages 5 and 2, and is 7 months pregnant with their third child. Any is a very strong woman. She and her husband, who works on a farm, are both 28 years old.

 

Until last November, Any and her family lived in a wooden house where they experienced many problems, especially in the winter. There was a lot of mud and rain, and the outhouse was far from their house. It was very dangerous for their children because there was an old well on the property. She and her husband talked and concluded it was necessary to make some changes in where and how they lived, especially for their children.

 

Any and her family were given a one room cement block building on her grandmother's property where several families live. They decided to add on an additional room with a shower and toilet. Future goals are to add a pila (for washing clothes and dishes), a stove, and a dining area with table and chairs.

 

It  makes Any very happy that their children no longer have to make the dangerous walk to go to the bathroom or to take a bath. Mildre from ADEHGUA states that Any is a very intelligent woman with good ideas on how to run her business and minimize risks.   Even though she is two months away from giving birth, she is very active, has already invested her loan, and continues selling clothes that her clients request.

Marcia

When Marcia began as a member of the microloan project there were many needs in her family as neither she nor her husband had work. They made a family decision to put a small store in their home to sell things people use on a daily basis. They began with simple wooden shelves and a few items during the first cycle of the project. They saved wisely so they could invest more money into the store. In the second micro loan cycle the store tripled its growth and now even Marcia's 11 year-old son helps in the store.  He carefully arranges items on the shelves and delivers items the families that placed orders. The goal of the family is that their store will generate enough income so that Marcia’s children will not have to work and can totally concentrate on their studies.

Olga

Olga is a 43-year-old woman who is part of the "Servants of Jesus" women's society.  Olga, along with the 24 other members of her microloan group, are now beginning the third cycle.
 

Olga's microloan activity is planting and harvesting corn for their family consumption and for their livestock.  They rent 7 plots of land (about an acre each) on a private farm for a good price in exchange for providing livestock feed.  They are trying a new variety of seed that is more productive, and hope to harvest approximately 50,000 lbs. of corn.

Olga and her husband have 7 daughters, three who are still in school, and 7 grandchildren. 

Evelia

Evelia is a 51 year old woman who lives in a small settlement.  She has very limited reading and writing skills. As she tells her story, she shares that she only went to 1st grade and only learned to write her name. She is very pleasant, and tells us in great detail all about her business – when, how much, and how she bought supplies. 

We were surprised when we did the evaluation at the end of the second cycle (which was the first cycle for her) that she came with a paper and said, “I don’t know how to write, but I asked my granddaughter to write down everything that I did and here it is.  You are going to see that everything went very well for me.”  And indeed, it went very well. Evelia has everything well planned and organized in her house. She has a fenced in area for pigs, and another for chickens, ducks, and turkeys.  She has them closed in so they do not get sick, and everything is very clean.

Lesvia and Debora

Debora is 21 years old and is single.  She had to stop studying when she was 14 years old to help her family, because her father died and her mother was left alone to care for them. 

Because there were no other opportunities in her community, Debora did domestic work. She studied until the 6th grade, but her desire is to continue studying. Now she is a part of the microloan project, hoping to save money to fulfill her dream. 

Lesvia is the treasurer of the microloan group, a very responsible and fine woman.  She is a great treasurer and her leadership is very positive, as is the leadership of the others who lead the microloan group.  For their business, both Lesvia and Debora raise pigs, chickens and turkeys to sell, and sell food as well.  Lesvia has three other daughters who live at home who also help with the work of the business.

Guatemalan Microloan Project
Presbyterian Women
Presbytery of Western North Carolina
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