The whole purpose of what we do is, as Bob Graham would say, to help poor women entrepreneurs “make more money”! More money helps them improve the food they eat, the medicines they use, the clothes they wear, the education their children receive and the growth of their businesses. Here are a few stories about our clients.
Manuela Morales is 21 years old weaver. She is an Indigenous woman who lives in the rural community of Chupol in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. She has one child.
She makes “perrajes”, colourful rectangular shawls that are used primarily by women to keep warm, cover the head, carry children, and bring groceries home from the market. Some men also use perrajes.
Manuela received a US$532 loan from SERVIGUA from funds provided by Open to Grow. It is her first loan, and will be used as working capital for her business. Income from her business will be put back into her business and also used to improve the social and economic conditions of her family.
Claudia is a 22-year old Indigenous women with one child. She lives in Chichicastenango where she weaves one-of-a- kind “huipiles”, the traditional blouses worn by Mayan women. She works with a back-strap loom, with each huipil taking approximately two months to complete.
She recently received a US$324 loan to be used purchase the materials that she weaves into these amazing garments in the local market place.
Bernadina is a Mayagna Indigenous woman living in Krukira village, a small Miskito fishing community on the North Caribbean Coast Autonomous Region of Nicaragua. Her husband is a skillful fisher who provides the fish to be sold. Bernadina as a fish merchant travels to Bilwis where she sells her products in the local markets to several other women micro-entrepreneurs.
She has four children. She says that PANA PANA is helping her to improve her business. She recently bought a freezer to keep the fish caught by her husband fresh before the heads to market.
Zorayda is a Mayagna woman who lives in Rosita. She has a small grocery store “tienda”) that she started a number of years ago and uses the loan she receives to increase her inventory. The loan allows her to have more variety of goods in her tienda.
She makes a modest but growing income and uses her profit to provide her children with nutritious food, to pay for their basic education and to re-invest in more inventory for her business. She is very grateful for the support we provide to the Indigenous women of the Atlantic Coast.