Microloans Help Guatemalan Women Reach Their Goals

by MayaWorks
Jul 27, 2010

Projects Thrive Despite Tropical Storm Agatha

Berries are nearly ready to be harvested!
Berries are nearly ready to be harvested!

While MayaWorks artisans were deeply affected by Tropical Storm Agatha, thankfully they are unharmed and no microcredit projects were lost!

In the weeks following the devastating storm, MayaWorks distributed more than 4,000 lbs of emergency food supplies and is currently helping artisans rebuild damaged homes and replant crops. Despite setbacks caused by Tropical Storm Agatha, artisans are eager to pursue income generating projects and are looking forward to the opportunity to apply for low interest loans to make their dreams a reality.

Consistent with MayaWorks’ mission to provide a steady income for artisans, the microcredit program exists to help women develop as entrepreneurs by managing other income generating projects. Artisans must complete a loan application that includes a simple business plan. The business plan outlines all expected expenses, a time line of the income generating project and the expected profits. It also includes a simple analysis of marketing and selling expenses. If the project will result in a profit for the artisan, the project will be approved and the artisan will receive her loan within one week of approval and after attending an initial financial management workshop.

During the course of their project, artisans receive quarterly site visits by the Program Coordinator to evaluate how the project is progressing. If an artisan is experiencing difficulty with the project, she will receive technical support from staff members and will be visited more often. Artisans must also attend periodic business trainings to be eligible for further loans.

Women have created a range of interesting projects from crop cultivation to a stuffed animal business to natural home cleaning supplies.

Pigs are growing nicely in preparation for market!
Pigs are growing nicely in preparation for market!
Catalina has readied her field for planting!
Catalina has readied her field for planting!

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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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