Sunday, March 23, 2008

Guatemalan loan from Kiva

Made a loan to a Group in Guatemala, the "Chaquijya Central" who are taking out their second loan.

Ten of the women are skilled in beading; crafting beautiful bracelets, necklaces, and earrings from tiny translucent beads, and selling them in the streets of nearby tourist towns, as well as through orders that friends and neighbors place. They will invest their loans in beads and string, which they purchase from a market in Sololá. Olga Tunay says that for the first time, with the help of their previous loan, they were able to buy beads in bulk, which drastically reduced the cost, as well as the number of trips they must make to the market.

Two women are skilled weavers, producing "huipiles" (the traditional Mayan blouse) and skirts like the ones in the picture. They will invest their loan in thread to weave these intricate clothes. A single huipil can take up to three months to make, and after an initial investment of $30-$50, it can be sold for up to $200. These huipiles represent a woman's home town, her marital status, and other interests and beliefs.

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