Stories tagged with Dominican Republic

Jan 1, 2011 AM Armenia

By Kiva Fellows, Various corners of the globe

Around the world, Kiva Fellows are celebrating the start of 2011 in all sorts of different ways. Here’s what some KF13-ers are doing to ring in the New Year.

Enjoy and Happy 2011!

Ellen Willems, Ecuador

Ecuadorians, as I was told, celebrate the coming of the New Year, and more importantly the going of the “Old Year” by making “monigotes”. These are dolls made of old clothes, stuffed with newspapers or sawdust and sometimes with fireworks as well. They have masks made of papier...

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Dec 12, 2010 DO Dominican Republic

By Nick Hamilton, KF13

When Julie Ross (Kiva Fellows Program Manager) asked what I would find most challenging about a Kiva Fellowship I think my first response was ‘not being at home for Christmas’.

I LOVE Christmas. Many people think that it has become too commercialized. Not me. I’m not ashamed to say that I’ll never tire of the protracted build up; the pomp; the ceremony; the tremendous effort that goes into making this one day special. 70s rock band Wizard sang ‘I wish it could be Christmas every day’. Although this may seem a little over-the-top, when...

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Dec 12, 2010 DO Dominican Republic

By Nick Hamilton, KF13

Before beginning my placement as a Kiva Fellow, I tended to view the Kiva model simply in terms of members lending to borrowers and borrowers paying back. It was hard to envisage the intricacies of an Field Partner’s (or MFI) operations and what goes into facilitating a loan. In my eyes the MFI was the middle man; an amorphous mass that made things happen. Of course, the simple fact is that without MFIs Kiva would not exist. They share an equal responsibility with the lenders and the borrowers in ensuring that Kiva’s mission – ‘to...

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Nov 11, 2010 DO Dominican Republic

By Nick Hamilton, KF13, Dominican Republic and Haiti

Having spent a lot of time speaking with borrowers during the week, I decided to spend Friday in the office. Kiva Fellows are required to complete an extensive list of ‘deliverables’ and I was aware that I still had a lot to deliver. I had just begun editing a short film when I was approached by Noberto, Esperanza International’s Kiva Coordinator.

“Fancy observing one of Esperanza’s health workers in the field? It’s one of the services we provide and you haven’t...

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Nov 11, 2010 DO Dominican Republic

When Kiva asked whether I’d consider a Fellowship in the Dominican Republic, my first instinct was to head to Google. I’d never been to the Caribbean and knew very little about this small country. After my initial search, Google asked whether I’d like to view some images of the DR and lured me in with 4 or 5 thumbnails. Each contained something that doesn’t exist in my country (the UK): the sun. I don’t think I got past the first page of pictures. I sat there mesmerized by contiguous images of palm trees, white sand and idyllic emerald sea and sent my response to Kiva: “Yes!”

Okay,...

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Aug 8, 2010 DO Dominican Republic

by Magdalena Malinowska, KF11, Dominican Republic

Well, almost 100 days. A Kiva Fellowship lasts three months so my work with Esperanza International in the Dominican Republic and Haiti has lasted some 90 days. And so has my hands-on experience with micro-finance.

As a PhD student of Hispanic literature (at Boston University), it’s been quite an experience going from reading about the lives of others, like those described by Junot Diaz and Edwidge Danticat, to witnessing them first-hand on this historic island. During my Fellowship I have had the unique opportunity...

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Aug 8, 2010 DO Dominican Republic

by Magdalena Malinowska, KF11, the Dominican Republic

While providing capital to micro entrepreneurs so that they can expand their businesses is the primary goal of micro credit, it is not the only way micro finance institutions (MFIs) help their customers. Many go beyond money and worry about other aspects of their lives, turning into a one-stop community help center, offering a broad range of services.

For Esperanza International in the Dominican Republic the first step is in the word “asociada”. This MFI is an NGO rather than a bank, and so it’s perhaps for that...

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Aug 8, 2010 DO Dominican Republic

by Magdalena Malinowska, KF11 Dominican Republic

It started at 10 am on a Thursday in Monoguayabo, a dusty industrial neighborhood of Santo Domingo. But first I had to get there and that took a long while, but it was worth it because the Madre y Luz Group’s meeting turned out to be unforgettable.

There was nothing out of the ordinary about the series of unthinkably beat up vehicles well beyond their expiration dates still serving as daily transport for hours on end...

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Jul 7, 2010 DO Dominican Republic

By Magdalena Malinowska, KF11 Dominican Republic

It’s about micro-lending there. Is providing credit to small businesses in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere even a possibility? Well, it’s actually a reality, and one that’s old news! The Dominican non-profit MFI, Esperanza Internacional, has been working on helping Haitians break the cycle of poverty since it expanded its operations there in May of 2006.

So, how does micro-lending look like in a country with a failed economy made worse by the January earthquake, where 80% of population is under the...

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Jul 7, 2010 DO Dominican Republic

by Magdalena Malinowska, KF11 Dominican Republic

What shape does the World Cup fever take in the Dominican Republic? No shape or form – is the answer! There is very little (to none) interest in this baseball-dominated country in the events that have been captivating the people of numerous countries all over the globe for the past several weeks.

Although the country holds many cultural and historical ties with the rest of Latin America, the continent which spawned several of all-time czars of world soccer (Pele, Maradona, Ronaldo), baseball is king here. With...

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