Stories tagged with Guatemala

Feb 2, 2010 GT Guatemala

Shampoo, bananas & bread, how much would you pay?

As a kid growing up, and now at 5’-6” tall I’ve always been on the short side, among friends, classmates, teammates, you name it! As I walk  around town and meet people in my new town, I noticed I’m actually a tall person around here. Never thought being a Kiva Fellow would make me tall… anyways, what is interesting is that it depends on your reference point.

We know that the earth is round but can you tell...

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Jan 1, 2010 GT Guatemala

By Jeremy Lapedis, KF9, Guatemala

A  violinist and pianist set the ambiance along with a slide show of pictures. Everyone attended FAPE’s 25th anniversary celebration: the board of directors, the general assembly, representatives from FAPE’s international partners (I was Kiva’s representative), and FAPE’s director, accountant, and lawyer.   Moriré con las botas puestas. That’s what FAPE’s vice president of the board of directors said while giving an award to the president of the board.

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Dec 12, 2009 GT Guatemala

Jeremy Lapedis, KF9, Guatemala

On Wednesday I traveled with Aura, a loan officer.  My main goal was to get some signatures from Kiva borrowers so that we could use their photos in a press release.  What I ended up getting, along with the signatures, was a glimpse into Aura’s life

Since getting the signatures required us to go a little village called Cruz Blanca (White Cross), where Aura’s lives, I asked if I could see her house.  She in turn suggested that we just eat lunch there.  Her house had several rooms, but the floor was a base of concrete.  Aura shared...

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Dec 12, 2009 GT Guatemala

Jeremy Lapedis, KF9, Guatemala

I spent thanksgiving in Costa Rica with four other Kiva Fellows who are placed in Central America. Before going, the Guatemalans who I had spoken with about my trip mentioned two things: Costa Rica is safer than Guatemala, but it has less of it’s own culture.  Having spent only five days in Costa Rica, I can hardly make any judgments about Costa Rica’s culture (however you define culture, be it ideas, materials, art, family values, government etc.), but I can confidently confirm that Costa Rica is safer than Guatemala: walking down...

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Apr 4, 2009 GT Guatemala

Today is my last day as a Kiva Fellow working in Guatemala City. I will admit that in recent weeks my mind has been wandering to the luxuries of home: ethnic food, safe and timely public transportation, dishwashers, smog laws, etc… But as always, when leaving a new “home”, I know that I will miss the experiences and friendships that I have been lucky enough to experience while here.

As one of my fellow Kiva Fellows pointed out in an earlier post, we fellows tend to receive credit for the support that all of you lenders are really giving. I wish I could offer you one of the glasses...

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Apr 4, 2009 GT Guatemala

Someone asked me how it was that I seemed to have (almost) constant access to the internet AND no indoor running water or heat. From an American perspective, it seems irrational and contradictory. But, Guatemala is filled with (seeming) contradictions and contrasts. I suspect that many of my “fellow” fellows have experienced the same in the countries where they are working.

The family I live with has satellite TV, a wide screen television (and a television in every bedroom) but they have no indoor running water or heating. They...

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Apr 4, 2009 GT Guatemala

So, warning, this has NOTHING to do with microfinance.

But, here are two videos that give a definite flavor of life here in Nimasac, Guatemala where I have spent the last two months as a Kiva Fellow with ASDIR, Kiva’s field partner in Totonicapan, Guatemala.

K’iche is the predominant language spoken here. Many people have asked me to describe what it sounds like, but I’ve found that to be an impossible task, so here is a short video of animated dinner conversation in K’iche.

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Apr 4, 2009 GT Guatemala

Long hours, low pay, angry barking dogs, collection calls, long motorcycle rides and even longer walks…………what on earth keeps these loan officers “in the saddle” 8+ hours a day, 6 days a week?  I interviewed two of ASDIR’s (Kiva’s partner bank in Totonicapan, Guatemala)  loan officers to try and find out.

I have to say I have been most impressed by the dedication, care and compassion of the  loan officers at this MFI. I would also bet  that most of Kiva’s 90+  field partners  have similar, committed loan officers—- clearly...

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Mar 3, 2009 GT Guatemala

**Warning: Do not read if you are my parents**

Yesterday morning the secretary of FAPE (the MFI I am working with here in Guatemala City) woke up at 4:30am. As she left her house she kissed her 3-year-old son goodbye and told him that if she didn’t come home tonight he should know that she loves him. She then waited at the bus stop for over 2 hours for a city bus to bring her the 5 miles to the FAPE office.

Guatemala City (“Guate”) is in a public transportation crisis. It’s taken me awhile to...

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Mar 3, 2009 GT Guatemala

Warning: this post has absolutely nothing to do with microfinace. Just gives you a glimpse into what is involved with taking a hot shower here in Nimasac, Guatemala.

When I was first accepted as a Kiva Fellow,  I was asked if I had any “special” requirements. My response was that I wanted to be relatively safe and be able to take a hot shower.

Taking a hot shower is no simple matter in Guatemala. First of all, most homes do not have running water. (this includes the family that I am living with). So, in that situation, here is how you get to take a hot shower....

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