#This is my story: “My name is Flor de Maria Higueros, I am 28 years old and I live in Totonicapán, Guatemala. I am engaged in the embroidery of blouses and huipiles (traditional garments).

After I started my business, I realized I needed capital to develop more products to offer. Talking with a friend about my funding needs, she mentioned that she was organizing a group in order to form a village bank in FUNDAP. With this information, I attended an informative meeting and the group advisor from FUNDAP explained us how the village bank loan methodology worked, the benefits for the bank members and the opportunities to develop and make our business grow.

In 2012, I started as part of the village bank “Primavera de Amor” (Spring Love) in Totonicapán. My first loan was for GTQ 1,500 (~USD 200) but as my business grew over the years, so did my funding needs and now I manage a loan of GTQ 3,500 (~USD 460). This loan matured in May 2016 and I renewed it as I want to continue investing in my business. Initially, only my mother and I were involved in the business, however, the demand and the business growth made me hire 8 more women. Today, I sell around 5,000 to 6,000 products every month. I estimate that my net income is about 10% to 12% of the sales income. In the future, I would like to help more people creating new jobs, especially young women. Moreover, if the volume of sells increases I plan to have a small textile factory.

In addition, at the beginning of 2016, I decided to get training for being a health-care Volunteer. The training I have received so far enabled me to help people and educate them in case of basic health issues. Both the loan and the training as a health-care volunteer had a positive impact on my life. First of all, the loan gave me the opportunity to have my own business, make it grow and help other people by giving them the opportunity to have a job. Furthermore, undertaking the training as a volunteer gave me the chance to get involved and assist people who are really in need, as well as share the knowledge with my family and friends.”