Through small, dirt roads and villages, long-time donor Betsy Ross and her business partner Nicholas Rytting recently traveled to Guatemala to visit FINCA clients.
For six days, the two traveled to Antigua, Chimaltenango, Lake Atitlán and San Juan la Laguna to visit women who ran textile, weaving, ceramics and other handicraft businesses. The duo were in the country to explore purchasing local products for a new retail venture they are launching in the US next year to help expand FINCA clients’ existing businesses.
Beyond the talents FINCA clients possess, the two were most impressed by the generational aspect of the businesses.
“The mission of the grandmothers were to provide for the family,” Nicholas explains. “The ambitions for the mothers were to send their kids through school. These mothers are so proud when their kids graduate, but there are no jobs available for them when they do. Consequently, the daughters use that education to creatively grow the family business.”
Betsy, who has traveled with FINCA to several countries over the years, was moved by the positive attitudes amongst the Guatemalan women.
“They all carried a great sense of pride in their work, and a very positive attitude and sincere ambition to expand their businesses,” she says. “It was very uplifting to see.” Supporting this enthusiasm is why Betsy has been committed to FINCA for so long.
“When you give them a loan, you give them a chance to fulfill their entrepreneurial vision and ideas,” she says. “With FINCA, this has proven to work.”