Florinda, 37 years old, lives with her parents and siblings in La Libertad, Guatemala.
Though once married, Florinda’s husband mistreated her, neglected her health, and abandoned her in the hospital. Her husband took their children from her, so she returned home to care for her parents and sister Aura Leticia, 10 years old, who was born with one leg higher than the other and has foot deformities. Aura Leticia is currently in the fifth grade:
“My desire is to finish elementary school, then continue weaving because it is my favorite thing to do,”says Aura Leticia.
The family primarily relied on her father’s wage labor, but the women of the house would weave occasionally to bring in some extra income during times of scarcity. They made barely enough to cover their household costs.
“I did not know what it meant to save in the house. I could not save anything, because I spent it quickly,” Florinda explains of their life before joining Trickle Up’s program.
Florinda, as a caregiver for her sister Aura Leticia, was selected to participate in a Trickle Up project in Guatemala focusing on people with disabilities. With her seed capital, she began making blouses in new designs and shapes, selling basic grains and bananas at the market, and raising chickens. Her mother and sister help with embroidering and creating blouses, while her father helps her grow bananas and raise chickens.
When Florinda first joined the Trickle Up savings group in her community, she didn’t believe that they would keep her savings safe and return them to her. After the first year of saving, accruing interest, and receiving loans, she has gained trust in the savings group. Now she is happy and confident that the program is helping her family become more financially stable and break the cycle of poverty.
“I will never sell what I’ve invested in my activities because it will be difficult to get it back. We are happy because it is helping us to move forward,” Florinda says.
The family is now able to generate more income because of their various livelihood activities and they no longer rely solely on their father’s wages. They made a profit of Q1100 ($141) in the second quarter, Q550 ($70.51) in the third quarter, and Q1010 ($129.50) in the fourth quarter, which is consistent with fluctuations based on agricultural harvests. At the end of the first year, Florinda had 52 shares in the savings group and had Q628 ($80.50) from her savings, including interest. The family’s increased income and savings have allowed them to send Aura to school, cover medical expenses, and buy enough food for the entire family to eat consistently.
Florinda Chá Có of La Libertad, Guatemala
Caregiver, weaver, survivor