Stories tagged with Ecuador

Nov 11, 2009 EC Ecuador

By Zal Bilimoria, KF9, Ecuador

Ecuadorian cheese tastes a bit different if one is not accustomed to eating it. Cheese is not necessarily the most common ingredient in local fare, as the staple for most meals is rice, plantains and beans served with beef, chicken or some other type of meat. However, it’s unmistakeable when you take that first bite of pizza, pasta or ham and cheese sandwich…especially if it hasn’t been refrigerated properly due to the energy crisis sweeping the country.

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Nov 11, 2009 EC Ecuador

By Zal Bilimoria, KF9, Ecuador

Over the past four weeks here in Ecuador, I’ve had the opportunity to see much of the country, starting out in Quito working at Fundacion ESPOIR’s administrative office, and now in Portoviejo near the coast to conduct borrower verifications and write journal updates, among other tasks.  Since Ecuador is a relatively small country (roughly the size of Nevada), it’s easy to travel by plane or bus, usually within 4-6 hours to most major cities. This past weekend Kiva Fellow Kimia Raafat and I made our way to Cuenca for the long...

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Nov 11, 2009 EC Ecuador

By Kimia Raafat, KF9 Ecuador

Last week, I blogged about D-MIRO’s influence in the peri-urban zones of Guayaquil.  There is no way to describe the dedicated D-MIRO staff members and the lengths they go to reach those marginalized from the traditional financial system. So I opted to film a sample day! Here is “My Motorcycle Diary”:

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Fun...

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Oct 10, 2009 EC Ecuador
By Kimia Raafat, KF9 Ecuador

Fortin district of Guayaquil

The recession has affected most families in one form another.  Personally, I was laid off from my first post-collegiate job and ushered over to the unemployment line.  Post lay-off, I spent a solid week sitting in my pajamas and watching the news.  I rolled my eyes as every other segment was titled “from Wall Street to Main Street”.

Upon arrival in Guayaquil, I...

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Oct 10, 2009 EC Ecuador

By Zal Bilimoria, KF9 Ecuador

Let me start off by saying that I think everything will be fine.  Everyone is safe – no injuries but a few terrified souls.  I wish I had brought my camera with me, but we were told to leave instantly.  It all started when Rocio – the Kiva Coordinator at Fundacion ESPOIR in Quito responsible for uploading loans from the branch offices to Kiva.org – was showing me the painstaking manner for how she uses a combination of Excel spreadsheets, a scratch piece of paper and a calculator to upload the monthly repayments of ESPOIR’s borrowers from the...

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Sep 9, 2009 EC Ecuador

By Kimia Raafat, KF9 (Ecuador)

Last night, I said goodbye to my KF9 classmates and flagged down a cab.   Departing KFP9 graduation dinner, I couldn’t help but wonder, “Am I really ready to be a graduate? to be a Kiva Fellow?!”

I pushed my uncertainties to the side while greeting and directing my cab driver.  He was a friendly Ethiopian man and obviously curious about what I had been doing with the rowdy crowd in Baghdad Nights.  Maybe he saw all of the ridiculously good looking  people inside (my KF9 classmates and/or Kiva Staff members)? perhaps ...

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Sep 9, 2009 EC Ecuador

By Zal, KF9 Ecuador

Good day, folks.  My name is Zal, and this Friday, September 25, I’ll officially be anointed a Kiva Fellow for the KF9 Class bound for Ecuador working with Fundacion ESPOIR!  It’s been an absolutely wonderful experience meeting all the Kiva Fellows this week at the Kiva HQ in San Francisco, CA.

I’ve been working as a Product Manager at YouTube for the past two years and will be taking a three-month leave for my fellowship.  Previously, I spent three years at Microsoft in Seattle working on Windows anti-piracy in China and Brazil...

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Aug 8, 2009 BO Bolivia

By Cynthia McMurry, KF8 Ecuador

Over the past year, I have learned valuable lessons about life, gotten to know myself better, greatly enriched my understanding of microfinance, observed the workings of the informal economy in Latin America, been touched by many clients’ stories and experiences, and been proud to represent Kiva at four different MFIs in three South American countries.

Some of my favorite moments, though, have absolutely nothing to do with microfinance. They’re little cultural quirks, lifestyle adaptations, or just silly everyday things that make me...

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Jul 7, 2009 EC Ecuador

By Cynthia McMurry, KF8, Ecuador

Everyday conversations with people in Cuenca provide countless anecdotes of people whose families have been separated by emigration. Everyone seems to have family in the US or Spain, if not a spouse then a brother, sister, cousin or child. At a group meeting last week, a borrower joked that she’d like me to sneak her into the US in my backpack. I asked her and the rest of the group if they had family members in the States, and all ten women nodded their heads in unison.  Recently, I was chatting with a friend whose father is living in New...

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Jun 6, 2009 EC Ecuador

By Cynthia McMurry, KF8 Ecuador

Time and cost are enormous disincentives for the working poor when it comes to getting medical treatment. Time spent visiting the doctor is time you’re not at work generating income, and money spent on these visits is money that could otherwise be spent on your children’s education or reinvested in your business. These disincentives are strong enough that relatively minor, treatable ailments often go untreated and eventually develop into much more complicated, serious conditions that require more intensive treatments and can even be...

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