Empower women. Eliminate poverty.

Who We Are





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 Guatemalan in rural areas where the rate of poverty in Guatemala is the highest. While illiteracy and poverty rates are staggering in these regions, the women we work with are determined to create a change.

Here for Her

Although COVID-19 had the potential to set our progress back by decades, 2020 ended up far better than we could have ever imagined. We invite you to read through our 2020 Annual Report to learn more about who we are and to understand the true breadth of all we were able to accomplish together as a team and community in 2020. Without a doubt, the increased generosity and commitment to our mission are the very elements allowing us to continue making incredible strides in our work to create opportunities that empower Guatemalan women to build a better life.

Annual Report 2020 (English) Anual Reporte 2020 (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.

Leadership Team

Guided by Karen Larson since 2009, 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.

Partners

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.

Financial Performance

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.