Stories tagged with Bolivia

Dec 12, 2010 BO Bolivia

Upon starting my fellowship at ProMujer Bolivia in La Paz, I became quickly aware of the fact that this microfinance institution (MFI) offers its customers one thing that the other MFI’s I’ve worked with and observed don’t, namely healthcare services.  In a country where national health data show high infant and maternal mortality, and the lowest life expectancy in Latin America*, the value of these services offered by ProMujer is obvious. However, a part of me questions the notion that a person’s access to healthcare and health services should be so intricately linked to his or...

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Nov 11, 2010 BO Bolivia

For me, one of the most interesting and potentially controversial challenges for Kiva’s lending model revolves around the concept of posting photographs and stories about real people, their lives, and their financial activities – and the privacy issues this entails.  There are undoubtedly millions of microfinance clients that live in such remote areas that they don’t know what the internet is, or even if they do, lack knowledge and understanding about the speed and extent to which information can travel. How do we explain to these people how the Kiva model works and how their...

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Jul 7, 2010 BO Bolivia

by Alexis Guild, KF11 Bolivia

It is hard to believe that three months are coming to a close.  In two days, I return to the United States.  For my last blogpost, I would like to thank everyone who made my experience memorable and worthwhile.

THANK YOU

To the Kiva Fellows Program Team: JD, Julie, Zack, Eric and all of the KFP interns and Kiva staff

The Kiva Fellows Program (KFP) Team are the people behind the scenes who make sure that our fellowship is running smoothly.  They are our field support for anything and everything. ...

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Jul 7, 2010 BO Bolivia

by Alexis Guild, KF11 Bolivia

I thought at one point that I would write a blogpost comparing my experiences in Guatemala, where I served as a Peace Corps volunteer, to my experiences in Bolivia, where I am currently serving as a Kiva fellow.  Two and a half months into my fellowship, I realize that I cannot do that. Therefore, I decided to write a blogpost about the importance of embracing ignorance instead.

How did I come to this realization? It started when I went to see a Bolivian movie called “Hospital Obrero” and walked out completely confused.  It wasn’t that I...

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Jun 6, 2010 BO Bolivia

By Kevin Henderson, KF11, Mongolia with contributions from Austin, Sally, Alexis, Leah, Cheney, Kati and Eva

When I found out I was going to Mongolia this summer as a Kiva Fellow, I thought I’d probably have a tough time catching much of the World Cup. It hasn’t been the case at all. Like many Kiva Fellows, I’ve found the World Cup really is a global event. With a few exceptions it seems like there are celebrations just about everywhere.

In Mongolia there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the World Cup. The contestants on Universe Best Song (the Mongolian equivalent of...

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Jun 6, 2010 BO Bolivia

by Alexis Guild, KF11 Bolivia

Happy Aymara New Year! What? You didn’t realize that Monday was the Aymara New Year? Did you know that it was a national holiday? I didn’t realize it either until a couple of weeks ago.

The Aymara New Year coincides with the winter solstice, June 21.  (Remember, we are in the southern hemisphere so it’s winter here right now). Traditionally, the Aymara New Year dates back to pre-colonial times as an agricultural ritual to Pachamama (Mother Earth) and Inti (Father Sun).  The biggest celebration is in the city of Tiwanaku near Lake...

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Jun 6, 2010 BO Bolivia

By Alexis Guild, KF11 Bolivia

Zebra helping people cross the street

I am basically halfway through my fellowship.  On one particularly reflective day, I started thinking about future classes of Kiva fellows.  The topic of surviving a Kiva fellowship has been explored in previous posts (see Nadia Anggraini’s  post : Kiva Fellowship Survival Guide). However, with KF12 getting ready for training in a month and new Kiva fellow applications rolling in, I thought I...

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May 5, 2010 BO Bolivia

By Alexis Guild, KF11 Bolivia

It was one of my first days at one of our field partners.  I was inside the Director’s office.  While discussing my workplan for the next three months,  I asked him about the challenges he faced, especially when it came to Kiva.  He said, “some clients see Kiva as a donation rather than a loan so they have no motivation to pay it back”.

This misconception is actually quite common.  In fact, when I told a friend that I was going to be a Kiva fellow in Bolivia, her reaction was: “that’s great – I’ve donated my $25 several times”.   I will...

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May 5, 2010 BO Bolivia

By Alexis Guild, KF11 Bolivia

Let me start by introducing myself, which will fit well into the theme of my blog post.  I am originally from the San Francisco Bay Area but am currently living in Ann Arbor, Michigan where I am a graduate student at the University of Michigan.  Before Kiva and graduate school, I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala.  From 2007-2009, I lived in a rural municipality in the western highlands of Guatemala in the department of Totonicapán (where Kiva’s field partner, Asociación ASDIR, is located).

I am sure you are...

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Apr 4, 2010 BO Bolivia

By Sheethal Shobowale, KF10, Bolivia

Transportation has been an integral part of my travels in South America. I have been in cars, vans, buses, scooters, motorcycles, trains, boats, planes, even a bus transported by a boat and of course I have walked.

In many cities, walking (or running for exercise) is usually not the best option because you breathe in a ton of pollution from passing vehicles.  In cities, I’ve noticed and heard that Peruvians and Bolivians don’t walk much.

Public transport is popular because not many people can afford to have their own...

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