Stories tagged with Ecuador

Dec 12, 2009 EC Ecuador

By Kimia Raafat, KF9 Ecuador

With the holiday season upon us and Kiva Gift Certificates flowin like Cristal and Dom Perignon in a Diddy rap video, I figured it would be a good time to review with lenders (both old and new), the process of a Kiva Loan.  Here is a link to the video me and my best friend, Emily Enberg made for the Tongal/Kiva Video Contest…  Happy Holidays!

http://tongal.com/app/submissionDetail.action?id=640;EL1474 

Kimia Raafat is a Kiva Fellow (KF9) at a new Kiva partner, D-MIRO  in Guayaquil, Ecuador.  If you would like to know more...

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Dec 12, 2009 EC Ecuador

By Kimia Raafat, KF9 Ecuador

Like the galloping horsemen on a Ralph Lauren polo shirt, Kiva’s leafy “loans that change lives” logo has come to symbolize a certain status in the world of microfinance institutions (MFIs).  The Kiva stamp of approval signifies that after careful due diligence, an institution has been deemed dependable and successful in their mission to make a significant social impact.

It was only a few months ago that Fundacion D-MIRO Mision Alianza had been approved to join Kiva’s network of 105 field partners.  D-MIRO’s employees are delighted and...

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Dec 12, 2009 EC Ecuador

By Zal Bilimoria, KF9, Ecuador

Ecuador’s 14.5 million residents and their predecessors have experienced much instability in the form of economic strain, political transitions and social unrest. Despite 35 years of civilian government and, for the most part, democratically elected leaders, Ecuador still struggles to improve the livelihoods of the nearly 40% of Ecuadorians that live below the poverty line established by the World Bank. Ten years ago, Ecuador suffered a major economic crisis, forcing the government to abandon its domestic currency and adopt the US dollar...

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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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