Members of Calaveras County, a rural California community in the Sierra Nevada Mountains have come together to sponsor a village bank in the region of Santa Cruz del Quiche in the Guatemalan highlands.
The Calaveras Giving Circle was formed at a NamasteDirect party in Murphys, California with an outpouring of support after one of the guests proposed the goal of banding together to fully fund the microloans of one village bank in Guatemala. There was a special sense of community connection present in this decision, with a rural community in the United States forming a bond with a rural community in Guatemala.
The women in the Santa Cruz village bank will use their loans to develop small businesses, increase their incomes and support their families. The members of the Calaveras Giving Circle will learn about these women and their businesses from NamasteDirect reports. Also a representative of the Calaveras Giving Circle will visit the village bank on an upcoming NamasteDirect trip to Guatemala, building a reciprocal face-to-face relationship between these two communities, separated by thousands of miles, but close together in the sense of community, work ethic, and human connection.
NamasteDirect works with partner organizations in Guatemala and Mexico, providing funds for the microcredit loans that are a first-step out of poverty. Women invest the loans into starting small businesses that will increase their household incomes and help them to escape poverty. The Santa Cruz group will be facilitated in cooperation with one of Namaste’s partners in Guatemala, Puente de Amistad.