Stories tagged with Costa Rica

Nov 11, 2010 CR Costa Rica

Costa Rican women can give thanks for many things:

Educationally, they have comparative literacy and enrollment rates as their male counterparts.  Economically, they are doing exponentially better than their Central American neighbors, such as Nicaragua.  Politically, they are represented by the country’s first female president, Laura Chinchilla.  Legally, they are protected by a pro-woman legislature and institutions such as the INAMU, or National Institution of the Woman.  Socially, however, there is ground to be covered.

A downtown billboard this week read “at least 42...

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Nov 11, 2010 CR Costa Rica

By Rachel Gittinger, KF13, Costa Rica

Every MFI offers credit in the form of micro-loans.  It is, after all, the point of their existence.  However, many institutions, including Fundación Mujer, offer an array of other services as well.  These “wraparound” services can include anything from doctor’s visits to funeral insurance.  At the Fundación, they take the form of several capacity building activities. Courses cover a variety of topics; cooking, jam making, giving haircuts and manicures, developing viable business plans and adequately pricing services, just to name a few.

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Oct 10, 2010 CR Costa Rica

By Gabriel Francis, Kiva Fellow class 12 in Costa Rica

When asked what they think of Costa Rica most people usually refer to the poster in their local travel agency, white palm beaches, virgin cloud forests, and toucans. Yet, there is a side of Costa Rica that the tour packages pouring out of San Jose regrettably fail to recount. The truth is, while eco-tourism and liberal trade agreements have brought prosperity to some in Costa Rica, many Ticos still live below the poverty line.

Is ignorance bliss? We Kiva Lenders know better.

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Sep 9, 2010 CR Costa Rica

by Gabriel Francis, Kiva Fellow at FUDECOSUR Costa Rica

Today, coffee lovers across the United States celebrate National Coffee Day. While you enjoy your daily cup you can take joy in knowing that your Kiva loans help support the independent coffee farmers who made it possible.

A coffee farmer proudly shows of his crop funded by a Kiva Loan. 25% of Kiva loans to Costa Rica support independent coffee growers.

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Sep 9, 2010 CR Costa Rica

By Gabriel Francis, Kiva Fellow class 12, FUDECOSUR Costa Rica

With few exceptions, wherever you are in the world there is a McDonalds nearby. From Bucharest to Bangladesh every restaurant has some variation of the classic hamburger, the Big Mac.

So what does a hamburger have to do with Micro-Finance?

Big Mac Index, source: The Economist Magazine

More than you might think. Some clever economists at The Economist Group have found the price of the ...

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Sep 9, 2010 CR Costa Rica

This past weekend Steven, Gerardo, and I made our way to Talamanca, indigenous territory in Costa Rica’s Southern Zone.  There we met with three up-and-coming ECCs set up with the help of Peace Corps volunteer Chase Adam.

The ECCs have been successfully lending and recollecting money for months , and are hoping to expand with funds from EDESA and Kiva.

We rode, walked, ran, and swam (okay, we didn’t swim) in order to get there, and made it back in time for the work week.  Check out the video below for a recap of the visit.

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Aug 8, 2010 CR Costa Rica

Enjoy

Also:

“On the road in Costa Rica…in ten seconds”

And a bonus:

“Sometimes it rains here…in ten seconds”

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Aug 8, 2010 CR Costa Rica

Social Responsibility: The principle that companies should contribute to the welfare of society and not be solely devoted to maximizing profits

(source: dictionary.reference.com)

EDESA requires every ECC it serves to have a Social Responsibility Program.  This means that the organization must  be making efforts to achieve social, environmental, and financial sustainability.

Last Friday Luiz Jimenez (EDESA executive director), Gerardo Barillas (FINCA coordinator) and I visited ECC Vivero Datraban in Upala, Costa Rica.  The purpose of the visit was to...

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Aug 8, 2010 CR Costa Rica

Around us mountains soared as we left San José at dawn.  Certain that what I had been admiring all week were indeed the rugged ranges of Costa Rica, I snapped a few pics and dozed off.

A few hours later I woke up.  It was now late morning, and getting hot.  My colleague Steven turned to me and said, “Look where we are.”

http://vimeo.com/14095736

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Aug 8, 2010 CR Costa Rica

Great things are happening here at EDESA in San José, Costa Rica.  A quick rundown of what EDESA does and how that ties back to Kiva and lenders like you:

EDESA is a microfinance institution in San José, Costa Rica.  It is located in a lovely house-turned-office and staffed by several dedicated and energetic employees.  Kiva is one of EDESA’s several funders.

EDESA lends money to well over 100 Empresas de Credito Communal (ECCs) throughout Costa Rica.  ECCs – Communal Credit Companies in English – are small credit organizations created and run by the very...

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