Microloans Help Guatemalan Women Reach Their Goals

by MayaWorks
Apr 4, 2012

From Hardship to Happiness

Francisca is happy to have a steady income.
Francisca is happy to have a steady income.

Francisca hasn’t had an easy life.  The fifth of 12 children, Francisca wasn’t able to attend school.  Instead, she and her sisters worked harvesting corn and beans in her village, Agua Caliente, while her brothers went to school.

At 17 Francisca was forced to marry a man she didn’t love.  Her life with him was very difficult.  He was an alcoholic and was habitually unfaithful and did not support her or their children.  Francisca had no option but to move back with her family. Soon after moving back home, the armed conflict in Guatemala began.  Tragically, her father and two of her brothers were killed.  Francisca needed to find work to help support her mother and siblings.

She left her rural community and her children to find work in the city. Fortunately for Francisca she found work as a maid in the home of a weaver. He was kind enough to teach her how to weave on a treadle foot loom.  She was 19 and it was the first time in her life that she ever weaved!  Soon after learning this new skill she returned to her community to teach other women how to weave on the big loom.  She is the first woman in her community to weave products for MayaWorks.  Today Francisca has many looms in her home and has a MayaWorks microcredit loan to cultivate and sell blackberries for export.




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Organization Information


Location: Berwyn, IL - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.mayaworks.org
Project Leader:
Jeannie Balanda
Executive Director
Chicago, Illinois United States

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