Thursday, August 25, 2011

Promoting business development through our micro loans

We are currently serving approximately 335 individuals and families via our micro loan program. The micro loans help to start a new business initiative or expand an existing one.  Approximately 98 % of the people who request the micro loans with us are women, who are in dire need of making an income either because they are the head of households or because they need to help their husbands to meet the expenses of the home.  Having a business for this women means having a higher degree of autonomy as well as feeling as active contributors to the economics of the household. With the income they earn from their business they are able to meet the educational and medical expenses of their home.

In addition I would also like to thank those of you who currently support this wonderful program.  Thank you for your support!  Please read the stories of some of our most current beneficiaries below:

Case #305
Cecilia Solis Salazar is a 44 year old woman from Panjachel.  She lives with the father of her four children.
She will use the micro-loan to expand her business which focuses on selling tipico fabric.  She will invest in buying more merchandise so that she can have a wider array of products and be able to increase the sale of her merchandise.   Her stall is located  on one of the main streets in Panajachel so she relies heavily on the tourism that comes through.  She has been selling these kinds of items for about 20 years now.    
She has had various loans with us and in the past and she has benefited greatly from this opportunity.  Through the money she earns in this business she has been able to send her kids to school.  Two of her children have already graduated from High School and the other two are currently attending school.  She's very proud of this accomplishment.

Case #306
Mercedes Joj Leja is 49 years old from Godinez. She is married and has two children.
She will use the micro-loan to expand her business which she has been doing for the last 30 years, and which focuses on embroidery. With the funds she will buy much needed fabric, threads, needles, etc. Because her embroidery work is very intricate and detailed she has been able to get continued support from certain people who know and trust her abilities to do good work.  Mercedes also makes a variety of styles of blouses which she also accents with embroidery. She sells her embroidered items out of her house.  Having this particular business venture is very joyful for her because she enjoys doing sewing and crafts.
She first ventured into this work so that she could help her husband meet the expenses incurred in the home, but through this  work she has also found the ability to send her children to school.  

Case #307
Maria Reyna Mendez is a 42 years old married woman and a mother of 4 children from Panajachel.
She has had a couple of loans with us in the past. And we know that she is a hardworking woman. This time around, she will use the loan to start a new business venture, the sale of shoes. Before selling shoes she used to sell fruits and vegetable for about 5 years, but she stopped because that business was not going to her liking. She developed an interest in this kind of business through some contacts in her church.  She believes that the shoe business is a more profitable business than selling fruits.  At the moment she sells shoes out of her home and also amongst the church congregation which she and her husband lead. Through the church members she has received interest and support in the shoe business.  She is excited to embark in this new venture.

Case #309 
Isabel Solis Salazar is a 47 year old widow with 4 children from Panajachel.
For the past 26 years she has been selling crafts to the tourists that visit Panajachel.  Her stand is located on the main street, near the lake, which gets a lot of visibility especially during the high season, but she does rely heavily on the tourists to make the sales.  She will use the money from this micro-loan to expand her business by buying beads, tipico clothing, shawls, bracelets and necklaces.
In the past she has had other loans with us.  This business has helped her to support her children and send them to school because she has been a widow for many years.  Two of her children have already graduated High School and two of them are still studying but she is very proud of herself for being able to support them with education.

Ana Perez Chiyal is a 32 year old single woman from Panajachel.
She has been selling crafts, such as bracelets and earrings for the last 3 years.   She plans to use the money from the loan to expand her business by buying additional merchandise and materials such as leather, necklaces, shawls, pens, and more.  She sells her merchandise at the different fairs and town celebrations, therefore she travels a lot and stays in all the different towns for a couple of days at a time selling her crafts.    She enjoys doing this type of work because she likes to travel and she finds that she does well with this type of business. 

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