By Kimia Raafat, KF9 Ecuador
Fortin district of Guayaquil

Fortin district of Guayaquil

The recession has affected most families in one form another.  Personally, I was laid off from my first post-collegiate job and ushered over to the unemployment line.  Post lay-off, I spent a solid week sitting in my pajamas and watching the news.  I rolled my eyes as every other segment was titled “from Wall Street to Main Street”.

Upon arrival in Guayaquil, I quickly learned that the fallout of the recession looks different in Ecuador, than it did in the United States.  Funding from unemployment checks and severance are not options for the clients of this field partner, Fundacion D-MIRO Mision Alianza (D-MIRO).    Most clients live in peri-urban, marginalized areas of city (see the Fortin district photos).   Although these “cities” may appear antiquated without sewer systems, water and paved roads, they are all “new” and they keep expanding!  In the last year, Ecuadorian farmers slowly lost access to credit in the rural countryside.  The recession catapulted them into the peri-urban Guayas zones in search of opportunity. Each plot of land sells for approximately $200, and depending on resources, the owners will spend an average of $2500  to build a simple home.  Sheet metal, cement, bricks, and cane are the building blocks of these homes.   Any elevation (see photo below) is a bonus, as it protects the home from landslides and thieves.  It is estimated that 40% of Guayaquil’s ~2,100,000 inhabitants live in such conditions.

Fundacion D-MIRO Mision Alianza’s mission is to be a microfinance institution that contributes to the improvement of the quality of life in marginalized areas of Ecuador, providing agile and opportune services that reflect confidence in it’s clients.  The staff and especially the loan officers go above and beyond the call of duty to reach those marginalized from the traditional financial system for different reasons (culture, sex race, poverty, etc).  As D-MIRO and it’s clients pick themselves back up from the economic hit, they look forward to partnering with Kiva to fulfill their mission! I would like to welcome one of Kiva’s newest field partners, Fundacion D-MIRO Mision Alianza!!

Kimia Raafat is a Kiva Fellow (KF9) at a new Kiva partner, D-MIRO  in Guayaquil, Ecuador.  If you would like to know more about D-MIRO please visit the Partner page or Lend!

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Elevated cane home protects from landslides and thieves

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Another view of the peri-urban Fortin district

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