I arrive at the group meeting spot, where approximately 60 women are gathered on a shady verandah. They start waving in surprise when they see me, and call out melodious greetings. “You are welcome, you are welcome.”
Over 1,000 people came out to celebrate Kiva's San Francisco City Launch on October 1, 2015. Kiva’s partnership with the City of San Francisco is to bring at least 1,000 small business owners 0% interest loans of up to $10,000 in the next 5 years.
Around the majestic Lake Atitlán sits the small town know for its traditional weavings, San Juan La Laguna. I was graciously invited to learn about the weaving process from two borrowers who are part of the women’s cooperative Asociación Tz’utujil.
During my borrower’s verifications, I met incredible borrowers with their own unique story of faith, survival and hope. But among them, one man’s story lingered with me and I could not shake his face off of my mind. The man was Soumaila; a small and humble man with an infectious smile.
Soumaila (in the middle) proudly showing his parcels