Empower women. Eliminate poverty.

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Virtual Inspiration Wall

2024 Stay-at-Home Building Bridges Gala: Virtual Inspiration Wall

Share Your Inspirations

In the spirit of our 2024 Stay-at-Home Building Bridges Gala theme, Pathways of Her Heart, we invite you to join us in an online celebration of the people who inspire us daily.

Just as our clients shared heartfelt letters with those who have lighted their paths, we encourage you to honor someone who sparks inspiration in your own life.

How to Participate:

  1. Reflect: Think of someone who inspires you. This could be a friend, family member, colleague, or public figure whose qualities, actions, or achievements have encouraged you to grow or view the world differently.
  2. Share: Use the comment section below to share a few words about this person. How have they inspired you? What impact have they had on your journey? Your contribution can be as brief or detailed as you like.
  3. Engage: After posting, take a moment to read other entries who have shared their personal inspirations. Feel free to respond to other users’ comments to create a positive conversation!
  4. Feature Opportunity: Your comment could be featured in an upcoming Gala night email, highlighting the powerful connections and inspirations within our community.

Join us by sharing your inspiration—let’s illuminate the pathways of our hearts together!

Add to the Virtual Inspiration Wall

Fields marked with * are required.
Please note, to maintain the integrity of our wall and reduce spam, all comments undergo a review process. You will receive an email notification once your contribution has been approved. We reserve the right to not publish or delete entries.
Thank you for sharing your positivity with the Friendship Bridge community!
2 entries.
Yvonne Meyerhofer wrote on March 9, 2024
My two daughters are my inspiration. They have grown to be thinking, compassionate young women, one of whom works for Friendship Bridge!
Nicole Eubanks wrote on March 6, 2024
The women empowered through Friendship Bridge are the same women who empower me. They inspire me through their incredible strength and perseverance. They remind me that despite challenges that are faced, including others and keeping positive, will create small ripples that create huge waves!

Achievements of 2023

Dear Friendship Bridge Family,

2023 was a great year full of new achievements for Friendship Bridge, development for our clients, progress for our staff, and good news about our many programs designed to empower Guatemalan women and eliminate poverty.

As I reflect on my inaugural year as President & CEO, I am deeply moved by the dedication and hard work exhibited by both our staff and our clients. This was a year of significant transition in organizational leadership, coupled with challenges surrounding the presidential election in Guatemala. Your unwavering commitment to Friendship Bridge amidst these changes is truly commendable and does not go unnoticed. I am also filled with gratitude that, with the collective effort of everyone involved, we were able to serve nearly 35,000 women in 2023. Thank you all for your outstanding contributions!

As we plan for the year ahead in 2024, there are still more milestones to reach, but we are staying well-aligned with the goals outlined in our 2021–2025 Strategic Plan, Impact2. Continue reading to discover the multitude of accomplishments that your support has contributed to!

Continue Reading →

2023 Women’s Entrepreneurs Awards

Women's Entrepreneur Awards: Supporting Trailblazers and Change Makers

For the third consecutive year, the Women’s Entrepreneurs Awards ceremony was streamed online in Spanish on Facebook Live for Bridge to Success clients and potential clients. 195 participants entered (an increase of 9% compared to 2022), and nine women received an award of one of the three categories: Successful Entrepreneur, Exemplary Client, and Outstanding Woman.

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Teresa’s Recipe for Success

Teresa's Recipe for Success

For Teresa, the business training and advice she has received through the Bridge to Success program has been a gift that keeps on giving—it has helped her earn more income and grow her customer base at her bakery, Pasterlería Teresita. Teresa’s transformation from watching online videos to mastering the art of baking in a class taken while in our Bridge to Success program highlights the real difference between self-taught skills and professional training. This shift in her learning approach significantly enhanced the quality of her offerings, making her cakes a favorite in her community.

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Friendship Bridge a Top Performer in 2023 Microfinance Index

Microfinance clients rank Friendship Bridge high for access, business impact, client protection, and resilience in Latin America

Friendship Bridge and 60 Decibels. 2023 Top Impact Award.

As a microfinance institution (MFI), we don’t just distribute small loans to impoverished people—we pride ourselves in building strong relationships with our clients, so they can in turn increase their resilience, grow their businesses, create generational change, and experience greater empowerment.

But how well are we achieving these goals, compared to other MFIs? 60 Decibels’ Microfinance Index strives to answer this in its newly released 2023 report. Continue Reading →

Friendship Bridge clients experience intergenerational change

60 Decibels’ report reveals positive trends toward next-generation impact among Friendship Bridge clients

One of the reasons we support women in Guatemala is because we have a vested interest in creating intergenerational change among impoverished families, as reflected in our Theory of Change. When our clients have the financial resources to keep their children in school, it can change the trajectory of their futures.
“We care deeply about breaking the cycle of generational poverty, and we have so many stories of clients who have experienced intergenerational impact because of Friendship Bridge,” said Caitlin Scott, Chief Strategy Officer at Friendship Bridge. “But we wanted more concrete evidence to show this.”
As a result, Friendship Bridge commissioned the global impact measurement company,  60 Decibels, to measure how our clients are experiencing change. Here’s what their research discovered. Continue Reading →

2023 Microfinance Index gives Friendship Bridge top recognition for client impact

Friendship Bridge ranks as #2 MFI in Latin America

An important part of measuring the social impact we have in Guatemalan women’s lives comes from partnering with 60 Decibels—a global impact measurement company that is the producer of the world’s first microfinance impact benchmark. Based on phone interviews with 277 of our clients conducted this year, 60 Decibels’ trained researchers have compiled insights about our clients, the outcomes they experience, how satisfied they are, and how we can improve our impact and business performance.

The 2023 Microfinance Index Insights Report reveals that Friendship Bridge received a Top Impact Award for Latin America, ranking #2 in Latin America among all microfinance organizations surveyed in the region.  

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Friendship Bridge Opens a New Branch Office in Chicacao

On July 14, 2023, we celebrated the opening of our newest branch office in Chicacao, Guatemala. One of the opening ceremony’s impactful moments came when our client, Elena, told her story of involvement with Friendship Bridge. She started her journey as a Trust Bank member, entered our Bridge to Success program as an Entrepreneur, and later won 1st place in the Successful Entrepreneur category at the 2022 Women’s Entrepreneur Awards. Elena shared how Friendship Bridge has helped her on her path to development and empowerment. 

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In Memory of Anita Bunch: Friend of Friendship Bridge

So many of our supporters have wonderful memories of Anita Bunch (1940-2023) and her ongoing commitment to Friendship Bridge. Following are personal recollections from our colleague, Nancy Hiester.

I met Anita in the year 2000 as I embarked upon my career with Friendship Bridge. She was a bit nervous about me since I was brand new. Within a few minutes of interaction, we became kindred spirits, close colleagues, friends, spiritual pals, and partners for life helping Friendship Bridge succeed in all endeavors. Anita’s smile always lit up the room and reflected compassion, grace, humor, and spice.

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Friendship Bridge Honored for International Women’s Day 2023

WorldDenver recognizes Friendship Bridge as the 2023 Organizational Honoree

On March 8, 2023, Friendship Bridge was honored by WorldDenver at their International Women’s Day event, held at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, for our work that empowers women in Guatemala. We were introduced in a video message by Denver Congresswoman Diana DeGette. Accepting the award on Friendship Bridge’s behalf was Marta Julia Ixtuc Cuc, Communications and Public Relations Specialist, who traveled from Guatemala for the event, and Board of Directors Vice Chair Susan Zimmermann.

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How The Women of Friendship Bridge Embrace Equity

International Women’s Day:

Handmade by Friendship Bridge® employees and clients embrace equity in a gender unequal country

Travel to any of Guatemala’s larger cities such as Quetzaltenango, Antigua, or Guatemala City, and you’ll find opportunities for women in education, careers, and as decision makers in society. But Guatemala’s rural communities still tend to function under traditional patriarchal systems where women have less of a voice. According to the UN Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), violence, in various forms, continues to impact the population, with women, girls and adolescents disproportionately affected. Cases of femicide and missing women have increased. In addition, Guatemala ranks 113th out of 146 countries in gender equality, according to the Global Gender Gap Report 2022, making it the most gender unequal country in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This is where Friendship Bridge comes in, with the goal of empowering more women and eliminating poverty across all areas of Guatemala. 89% of the women we serve come from rural communities. The following women work with Handmade by Friendship Bridge®—two as employees and two as artisans the organization serves. This year for International Women’s Day, learn what they’ve overcome and how they are working to #EmbraceEquity in different ways.

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2022 Achievements

Dear friends,

It is my great pleasure to share with you Friendship Bridge’s outstanding results of 2022. Across our organization, there were many achievements, overachievements, and surprises. I am filled with pride as we review 2022, my final days with Friendship Bridge and my last message to all of you. You should also be very proud of the critical role you played in empowering the 33,895 clients who were served by Friendship Bridge throughout the year.

With the conclusion of 2022, and as Friendship Bridge begins to focus on our work for 2023, we have completed the second year of our strategic plan, Impact2, and we are on target to meet our plan objectives. It’s an exciting plan with much more to accomplish over the next 3 years, to continue creating opportunities that empower Guatemalan women to build a better life.

Continue Reading →