Each year, for the last 8 years, Y’abal has offered micro-credits to between 15-20 families in the community of Chuicutama- without interest. The majority of the families use this small credit to rent farmland in other communities- with better growing conditions than the soil in Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan. However, some families use the money to start small businesses in the community.
Here are a few stories from the 2015 and 2016 recipients:
Juana recieved a micro-credit for the first time this year. She used it to buy 18 chickens and turkeys to start a small egg business to earn extra income for her family.
Miguel, Juana’s husband, has recieved a micro-credit in past years. With the micro-credits, he bought a corn grinder to start a small family business. Families in the community now use the grinder to make their daily tortillas and tamales.
Lucia also recieved a micro-credit for the first time this year. She used it to buy threads to make embroidered huipiles (traditional blouses) that she is then able to sell in the market. She is also a member of Y’abal’s weaving cooperative. Her and husband’s greatest goal is to send all three of their girls to school. The family uses her income from Y’abal and from her huipiles to pay for their children’s education.
Miguel and his family use their micro-credit, like many families, to rent farmland in nearby communities in order to grown corn and vegetables for their family for the year. The corn that they grow is their main food source. They are able to sell surplus crop to other families in the community.