Empower women. Eliminate poverty.



Ruth, married with four children, is a native of Tierra Linda Santa Lucia Utatlán in the department of Sololá. As a child she learned how to sew with the guidance of family members. Despite her training, she tried to make a living cleaning houses. She earned little, however, and had to relocate to the capital city to work in a factory to make more money. After she married at twenty and had her first child, she sold snacks to support the family. Eventually she was able to purchase a sewing machine that she used to make traditional blouses, skirts and aprons.

Ruth joined Friendship Bridge in 2011 and has completed ten loan cycles. Her first loan was 1,000Q. Today she borrows 10,000Q and is the Treasurer of her Trust Bank.

Ruth joined the Artisan Program in 2017 and was initially apprehensive about participating in the workshops. Despite her apprehension, the workshops helped her improve the quality of her products, keep better control of costs, and determine fair pricing. She also improved her color combinations, and her standards for sizing. Samples of both her aprons and pot holders were approved by the office in Lakewood, Colorado. Currently she has two employees.

She’s grateful to Friendship Bridge for granting her the loan that has enabled her to purchase a second sewing machine, two shelves and a mannequin to display her huipiles in her store. She also appreciates the workshops that have helped her manage her business better as well as to raise her standards for quality and product innovation.

Her dream is to be able to export various products to the United States and also to help other women by offering them employment opportunities. She has been able to help her children pursue an education and hopes that they might graduate from college someday.