Stories tagged with Ecuador

Nov 11, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Ellen Willems, KF13, Ecuador

Ecuadorians who dare going out onto the public streets this Sunday November 28th or who risk drinking alcoholic beverages between Saturday 27th and Monday 29th face sanctions ranging from two to four days in prison or fines from $7 to $15. 

The reason for these measurements is the 7th Ecuadorian Census conducted by the Ecuadorian Institute for Statistics and Census (INEC) on Sunday November 28th between 7am and 5pm.

On this day more than 360,000 students will visit all the houses of all the Ecuadorians...

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Nov 11, 2010 EC Ecuador

Earlier this year MFTransparency.org, an international non-governmental organization committed to pricing transparency, launched its Transparent Pricing Initiative in Latin America.  The data collected in Ecuador will be presented during a conference in Quito on November 30th.

Awaiting this event, let us look at the laws and regulations currently in effect in Ecuador.  Compared to other countries in the region, Ecuador’s Central Bank developed a strong regulatory framework concerning microfinance policies and pricing (source):

  • Financial institutions can only...
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Nov 11, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Tara Capsuto, KF12 Ecuador / KF 13 Kenya

Kiva is ultimately about people: lenders helping borrowers, borrowers helping themselves, and the staff at MFIs and Kiva who make it all happen. As other Fellows have commented before, one of the many humbling aspects of a Kiva Fellowship is the extent to which people reach out to help. One of the most frequent reactions I got in the field was, “You’re traveling and working completely on your own?!” I would answer that, “Technically, yes, I am.” But, as you’ll see, I wasn’t really alone. Here’s a little window...

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Oct 10, 2010 EC Ecuador

by Tara Capsuto, Kiva Fellow, Ecuador

Armed with training materials and a couple of motivational video messages from staff members at Fundación D-MIRO Misión Alianza, D-MIRO’s Kiva Coordinator, Rubi, and I left behind the bustling commercial hub of Guayaquil for the coastal city of General Villamil Playas. Our mission:  train loan officers for Kiva responsibilities, from understanding how the website works, to conducting interviews and journaling so D-MIRO can post more borrowers to Kiva. Here’s a short description and a video chronicle of our journey, which included some delicious...

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Sep 9, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Tara Capsuto, KF12, Ecuador

Taking a picture of a Kiva borrower sounds easy enough, right?  Snap a picture at his or her business, shrink the photo size, and upload to the Kiva website. Three easy steps. That´s what I thought before I had the chance to see how very challenging this seemingly simple task can be.  As many Kiva Fellows can attest, there are actually lots of challenges to snapping that coveted profile picture, you know that one with the borrower doing their soon-to-be-Kiva-funded work, with good lighting and a big smile? It`s that picture that makes you want...

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Sep 9, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Kelsey Quam, KF12 Ecuador

The agricultural work of cacao farmers of the rural loan group ¨Progreso Comunitario¨(¨Community Progress¨) in the subtropical region of Ecuador is not easy. They laugh when asked how they spend their free-time– agriculture is a full time job. Lately, farmers have been griping about pests called “mal de machete” and ¨escoba bruja¨ that have destroyed a large part of the cacao harvest this year. In addition, heavy rains have stripped cacao plants of their red color and have left them black. Members of ¨Progreso Comunitario¨ look to Kiva loans as a...

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Sep 9, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Tara Capsuto, KF12, Ecuador

Since it’s back to school month at Kiva I thought I’d take the opportunity to spotlight the role of education in microfinance. Microfinance alone is not a silver bullet to eradicate poverty. To be most effective, microfinance must be part of a broader schema of social and economic development. Providing education to microfinance clients on topics ranging from marketing to reproductive health is one of the key ways in which microfinance institutions (MFIs) can serve the broader needs of their clients. Let`s take a look at...

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Aug 8, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Kelsey Quam, KF12 Ecuador

Since today is the last day of ¨Food Month¨ at Kiva, I´d like to share a recipe for humitas, corn-cheese tamales that are common throughout the highlands of Ecuador. Humitas are often made during the months of the corn harvest (August and September) when corn is abundant. They are often enjoyed in the evenings as a light snack accompanied by a hot cup of coffee.

INGREDIENTS
6 ears of corn
1/2 cup of diced onion
1/4 cup of butter
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 eggs
1 cup of corn flour
8 ounces...

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Aug 8, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Kelsey Quam, KF12 Ecuador

Last week I traveled with a loan officer to an agricultural community in rural Ecuador. In my pocket was a list of several questions sent from various lenders throughout the world for the borrowers to whom they had made loans. I was testing a new tool created by Jeff Zira (KF7) that seeks to deepen the connections between lenders and borrowers. It’s easy- Kiva Fellows send out a message to lenders a few days before they plan to visit a specific borrower or community. Lenders can then reply with a question or message for the borrower to whom they have...

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Aug 8, 2010 EC Ecuador

Gold was not one of the topics I would have guessed I´d be immersed in as a Kiva Fellow. But last week I found myself in a tiny backroom at Fundacion Espoir in Cuenca, Ecuador learning the details of what is perhaps their most innovative product: gold-guaranteed loans or “prenda oro.”

Sound like a pawn shop? It´s not. For one, Espoir offers a significantly lower price for gold than it´s competitors. This means they attract customers who are more concerned with getting their jewelry back than getting the highest price possible. The result? Aligned interests....

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