Age: 42 years old
Marital Status: separated
Number of children: 2, 1 grandchild
Loan cycle: 2nd
Loan Amount: $246
Trust Bank: Eight members
Location: Canton El Tablon, Sololá Guatemala
Business: Artisan weaver
Santos Ajiquichi Quisquina, is an artisan weaver currently in her second loan cycle with Friendship Bridge. She hand weaves beautiful textiles on a back strap loom for customers and tourists in local community. She creates textile patterns reminiscent of a more traditional pattern that existed in her community years ago, but regaining popularity.
Santos’ story of empowerment is like that of many clients helped by Friendship Bridge. Rather than stay in a bad marriage, Santos left an abusive husband to care for her daughter and grandson with money earned from weaving, made possible by a micro-loan.
More than 22,000 women and their families in rural areas are using Friendship Bridge loans and education to enhance their businesses. Santos lives in the Sololá area in the Western Highlands of Guatemala. It is one of the larger, more prominent communities near Lake Atitlan.
Santos says that her microloans have given her a new sense of independence. “I’m very proud of what I’ve been able to accomplish on my own. It’s a good feeling.”
Her Trust Bank is comprised of eight members with an average age of 44 years and an average formal education of 1.6 years. On average, they have four children per member and varied businesses including bakeries, flowers, vegetables, tortillas, snacks and concessions, convenience stores, avocados, and handicrafts. The average loan of $378 goes directly into these businesses.
Thanks to loans made possible from our partnership with ShareBrands, Santos can continue to make life better for herself and her family.