Age: 24 years old
Marital Status: married
Husbands job: farm laborer
Number of children: 2 boys
Loan cycle: 3rd
Loan Amount: $420
Trust Bank: Las Marías de San Jose Chiriju
Location: San Jose Chirijuyu, Tecpan Guatemala, Chimaltenango, Guatemala
Business: Artisan weaver
The Tecpan region of Guatemala is located within the department of Chimaltenango, a little over 50 kilometers from Guatemala City. Tecpán is known as the “first capital of Guatemala” and is popular for its landscapes and varied vegetation. It is also extremely rich in Mayan history and culture dating back to the earliest origins of settlement in Guatemala.
María Leonarda Luc Icu de Chicol is in her 3rd loan cycle with Friendship Bridge. She is an artisan weaver that works hard to support her two children and extended family members when her husband is out of work. María uses traditional weaving techniques handed down through generations. Her grandmother first taught her to how to weave using a back strap loom. She weaves various patterns unique to her region. She makes huipils, scarfs and blankets. She takes a great deal of pride in her work, expressing a personal pledge to uphold her family’s craftsmanship. “My grandmother taught me these techniques and I try to honor her memory through my work,” Maria says.
“Since joining the Friendship Bridge program, I have been able to use my loans to purchase more thread and even another loom. I’m teaching my sister to weave, and she is now helping the family earn more. The loans have given us more opportunity and helped me grow our business. I think my grandmother would be proud,” María says with a smile.
Special thank you to ShareBrands for supporting women like María.[do action=”scaling-image”]2014/04/MariaLeonardaTrustBank.jpg[/do]