Stories tagged with Ecuador

Aug 8, 2010 EC Ecuador

This posting is not about public transportation in Quito. I’ll sum that up for you in one sentence. Buses only run along three major routes, all of which are north to south, they don’t always stop at demarcated stops, and they’re heavily monitored by thieves. But, public transport woes are certainly not news to any of you who have traveled around, lived in, or read about a city in a developing country (and some developed countries!). Here’s what people are really talking about here in Quito: pico y placa.

Pico y Placa is a...

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Aug 8, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Kelsey Quam, KF12, Ecuador

After attending an exciting week of training in San Francisco, a wave of 37 new Kiva Fellows has been pouring into new places across the globe. The emails we exchange as we transition into the field reflect both excitement and hesitation. What am I forgetting on my packing list? Am I prepared to work in microfinance? How will my MFI receive me?

My first week at Cooperative San Jose in Ecuador was different than my expectations. When I arrived to the office on Monday morning, I didn’t start to work right away. Instead, I was led up and...

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Jul 7, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Aurelie Dagneaux, KF11, Ecuador

Thursday: The day where I break every KF safety rules

5am The day starts early to go and see clients with Jose Luis and Diego, the 2 Lon officers (LO) from Chillanes (meeting is at 10am, tells you how far it can be…). Because of heavy rains the previous days, road has transformed into mud and we cannot ride with motorcycle, that’s why we use the bus

7.30am Arrival in the nearest town and breakfast before another 1h ride

...

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Jul 7, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Aurelie Dagneaux, KF11, Ecuador

After 9 weeks on the field, I thought I no longer could have first times. I was SO wrong. This is the story of my week…

Monday: Need for training on agriculture and borrowers on the verge of losing their harvest

8am A 1h30 motorcycle ride to do borrower verification and journal updates, with Danny the loan officer (LO) from San Miguel office

10 am Meeting with the borrowers group. 5 came...

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Jul 7, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Aurelie Dagneaux, KF11, Ecuador

The minimum monthly wage in Ecuador for a 40 hours week. Farmers earn $200-$300 a month. Teachers, $500 to $1,500. Executives, $1,000 to $1,500.
Per capita income in Ecuador is $3,700 yearly, which means $300 a month on average.

Not very high, especially related to living costs.

Food expenses make up to 50% of spending in the Andes; ~ $100 a month. That’s why farmers grow for their family. Cheap lunch costs $1.5 to $2.5; restaurants around $10-...

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Jun 6, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Aurélie Dagneaux, KF11, Ecuador

Volcanoes can seriously affect economy.  An Icelandic one recently decided to prove nature’s power over humans, paralyzing worldwide economy and airline industry for weeks, costing billions.

An Ecuadorian one has regularly been doing the same over the last 10 years, with smaller, but serious consequences. Its name is Tungurahua.

Ecuador is a country of volcanoes. No less than 70, 14 of which are active. Yet, there are pretty quiet, apart from the Tungurahua, that woke up in 1999 and then in...

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Jun 6, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Aurélie Dagneaux, KF11, Ecuador

One of my favorite questions when interviewing borrowers for new loans and journals (update on a loan), is: “What are your dreams and hopes for the future?”

Tough question, but on this one I always get an answer. The top 3 are: “build my house”, “give education to my children” and “improve my economic conditions”.

Why do I ask that question? To write the loan story, we try to tell you who the borrower is, his family details, his occupation, why he needs the loan, what challenges he faces,  the little plus to make you...

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May 5, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Aurelie Dagneaux, KF11, Ecuador

This post was originally named “I’m gonna be your eyes and ears”. This is how Kiva best describes his fellows’ job on the field. Indeed, we are sent to listen, watch and report how things are working over there, what neither Kiva nor you can see from San Francisco or your home country.

Why did I change the title then?
Firstly, because the meaning of this sentence is not straightforward, it takes time to figure it out.
Secondly, because we are more than just witnessing and reporting, we are also there to ...

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Apr 4, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Leigh Madeira, KF10 Ecuador

Seeing as it’s my final week in Ecuador, I decided to take Kiva’s commitment to P2P to the max by meeting a borrower who had actually received a loan that I personally made at the start of my Kiva adventure!  After reading Jose´s profile multiple times over the past few weeks, getting to meet him in person was by far one of the coolest things I have done so far as a Kiva Fellow, not just because we shared a connection through my loan, but because Jose has a very inspirational story and is living proof that microfinance works. 

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Apr 4, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Leigh Madeira, KF10 Ecuador

Anyone who visits Ecuador, Quito in particular, will likely hear that Otavalo, a town with 40,000 indigenous people about 1.5 hours from the capital city, is a must-see.  Is it for the beautiful beaches?  Definitely not.  The rainforest, cloud forest, or lush mountainous landscape?  Not that either.  The wildlife?  Nope!  Although Otavalo is a quaint town with great views of the surrounding volcanoes, it is a popular tourist destination solely because it has one of the most famous indigenous markets in all of South America.  In fact, Lonely...

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