Empower women. Eliminate poverty.


Fourth Quarter Highlights from Executive Director, Karen Larson

Dear Friends,

Season’s Greetings from all of us at Friendship Bridge!  After just returning from several weeks in Guatemala, I have much to share, but first, I would like to thank you all for the tremendous impact you had on Friendship Bridge this past year.  I am excited to highlight our many successes with you, and of course, if you are looking for more in-depth information on any of these highlights, please contact the Friendship Bridge office via e-mail or 303.674.0717.


  • Guatemalan women learn more about new, safe stoves with Friendship BridgePilot stove project health initiative rolled out in October – A recent study on open pit fires, used by many of our clients, found the deadly gas carbon monoxide was found to be fifteen times greater than the EPA base level considered to be dangerous (learn more at HELPS International).  Friendship Bridge is offering low-rate loans to help our clients transition to safer and healthier stoves.
  • Pricing study on interest rates proves Friendship Bridge remains in the lower quartile – Friendship Bridge recently completed a comprehensive pricing study of 13 competitors that make up 70 percent of the market share in Guatemala.  The study confirms that we have met our goal of offering loan rates in the lower quartile of the market.
  • Expanding the Bridge: 2014-2016 Strategic Plan sneak preview – Guided by comprehensive data evaluations, the 2014-2016 Strategic Plan includes enhanced credit and savings products, a focus on rural agriculture families, a market access program for artisan clients, implementing several health related initiatives, and growing successful relationships with partners including Kiva and Global Partnerships.  You will hear more about this in 2014.

I know it is a busy time of year for everyone, but I am grateful you have made the time to review our highlights.  We are in a very exciting stage in our organizational growth and I encourage you to remember Friendship Bridge and the potential of our many thousands of empowered women in your end-of-year giving.

All the best this holiday season,

Karen Larson
Executive Director