Today we got to encounter women in the Association as we ventured to three micro loan groups. We started off the day by picking up some old friends: Rosario Diaz, Coordinator of the Association and two Board members. We also picked up Vicente and Alfredo of AJPU, the men who build the stoves, latrines, and filters, and Carlos who provides information about proper animal and plant care for the women. The bus ride was interesting as four languages were being spoken: English, Spanish, Mam, and K’iche!
Once arriving at our first stop we were greeted with warm hospitality from the women of La Cruz. La Cruz is a micro loan group that mainly invests in livestock to turn a profit. They were funded by the Mission Development Unit of the New Castle Presbytery and have a prayer partnership with Community Presbyterian Church. They toured us around their homes where we could see the livestock, latrines, and water filters in action. The pride on these women’s faces when showing us their homes was unforgettable and rather moving.
La Cruz also treated us to a lunch of chicken, rice, potatoes, and tamalitos. What was even more touching was the chicken and potatoes served were a result of their micro loan efforts.
Later that afternoon, we traveled to Nueva Concepcion to visit two other micro loan groups. We met with Los Claveles 2 and 3, who are funded by and have prayer partnerships with Dover Presbyterian Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church Wilmington respectively.
We led a bible study where we shared that we are all children of God and to have faith while being open to God’s help. We all need a little help from the big guy upstairs every once and a while. We prayed in a circle and each woman started praying individually. It’s customary in this area for there to be individual prayer and not a group prayer. We ended the day with hugs and positive affirmations as both groups departed.
Rosario shared a highlight of the day by sharing that tons of wood ignite a bigger fire than just a few sticks. May these women continue to ignite passion in one another as they continue to succeed.