Friendship Bridge is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit social enterprise creating opportunities that empower women in Guatemala to build a better life. We work primarily with indigenous women in rural Guatemala where the rate of poverty is the highest. While illiteracy and poverty rates are staggering in these regions, the women we work with are determined to create a change.
2021 was an amazing year, even with COVID-19 still affecting us in many ways. After a year of lockdowns, we got back into the field using all the safety protocols we put in place and rolled out a successful relaunch of the 2021-25 Strategic Plan: Impact2. Our clients and staff not only got through the hardships of COVID-19 but also thrived in spite of it. We still have a long way to go to fully implement the plan’s new initiatives, but if last year is any indication of the success of our Strategic Plan, it will be an impactful and exciting few years ahead for Friendship Bridge.Annual Report 2021 (English) Anual Reporte 2021 (Español)
Why Women and Why Guatemala?
Studies have shown that when women are successful, they invest beyond themselves, in their children, and in their communities. Investing in women is smart from both an economic and a social perspective.
- Women invest 90% of their income back into their families and communities. Source: Clinton Global Initiative
- Gender Inequality: Guatemala ranks 113th out of 153 countries in gender equality, making it the most gender unequal country in Latin America. Source: Global Gender Gap Index
- Poverty: 59% of the total population of Guatemala lives in poverty. The situation is more extreme for indigenous people (39% of the population), with a poverty rate exceeding 79%. Source: 2020 CIA World Factbook
- Malnutrition: Nearly one-half of Guatemala’s children under age five are chronically malnourished, one of the highest malnutrition rates in the world. Source: 2020 CIA World Factbook
- Corruption: Guatemala’s government is classified as ‘corrupt’ by Transparency International and its budget for public infrastructure is extremely constrained. Many Guatemalans lack confidence in the government to improve the economic conditions of the general population and some experience a dire lack of access to clean water, utilities, and public transportation. Source: US Department of State 2020 Investment Climate Statements
What We Do
We believe that microcredit must be combined with education and preventive health services to help clients build resilience and pursue their chosen opportunities. We call this Microcredit Plus. Learn more.
Our Mission and Our History
Whether in Vietnam or Guatemala, we have been empowering impoverished women for over 25 years. Learn more.
Board of Directors
We have an outstanding Board guiding our decisions. Meet them here.
Our leadership team is committed to improving upon our mission while ensuring that we are innovative and client-centric, emphasizing efficiency, and effectiveness in our operations.
Friendship Bridge believes in the importance and the power of collaboration and cooperation. See the organizations and groups with whom we are proud to partner.
As part of Friendship Bridge’s commitment to financial transparency, we are independently audited every year and an IRS form 990 is issued annually. Take a look here.
Social Performance Management
Friendship Bridge continuously monitors and evaluates the achievement of our social objectives. Learn More.
Friendship Bridge is a 501(c)(3) organization with a tax ID number 84-1141078.