Stories tagged with Paraguay

Mar 3, 2010 PY Paraguay

By Kimia Raafat, KF10 Paraguay

Although lard has always been a popular alternative to butter, and a readily accessible by-product of pork, I have somehow managed to remain a lard simpleton—until now! Upon approaching the home of one Fundación Paraguaya borrower, Gloria Elizabeth Cabrera de Echeverria, I expected to find a typical despensa (general store) or home tailoring store, instead I was kindly greeted by the lingering scent of rendered pig-fat!

Gloria produces and sells bottles of lard to local bakeries.  The bakeries use the animal oil to cut down their...

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Apr 4, 2009 PY Paraguay

There exists a daily beverage that is more omnipresent and culturally dominant than Seattle’s most famous export.  It’s a tea known as tereré and (hooray for American marketing) Paraguayans literally do not leave home without it.

Tereré is a loose-leaf tea that is always served cold.  It involves no foams, whips, or syrups, and there’s definitely no decaf.  Just mate tea, ice water, and, if you like, a mix of mint and lemongrass.  As simple as it may sound, bringing these ingredients together is much harder than saying “grande coffee, no room” to the...

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Apr 4, 2009 PY Paraguay

I told myself I’d avoid writing a blog entry that involved too much rumination on the meaning of microfinance. Oops.

Before I left for Paraguay, I had a long conversation with Cara Gutterman, the first Kiva Fellow assigned to Fundación Paraguaya. In addition to giving me some insight into the food (fine) and the weather (very, very hot), Cara told me that many of the borrowers she met during her time in Paraguay didn’t seem to be lifting themselves out of poverty; in fact, they didn’t seem to be the poorest of the poor,...

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Mar 3, 2009 PY Paraguay

In Caacupé they make chipa. This mellow Paraguayan town, ensconced between beautiful green hills and canyons, is known for the small, biscuit-shaped snack, which is made with mandioca flour and cheese. You can find plenty of chipa in Asunción as well, but here it grows on the shelves of every food stall and floats through the streets on the heads of

Basilica de Caacupé

hardworking saleswomen. A soft,...

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Feb 2, 2009 PY Paraguay

Kiva training is done. My bags are packed. I’m about as ready as I can be to make it from San Diego, to LAX, to Houston, to Buenos Aires, and then on to Asuncion, Paraguay.  So, here I am, ready to depart for another meet and greet with customs officials, and it seems appropriate to spend a little time thinking and sharing about why, exactly, I’ve decided to hit the road again.  On...

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Jul 7, 2008 PY Paraguay

Visiting clients with Fundación Paraguaya hasn’t been exactly what I expected. Fundación clients aren’t being “lifted out of poverty.” They aren’t the poorest of the poor in Paraguay. Most of the time, their loans are simply maintaining a status quo, economically speaking. So far, I’ve visited clients based out of four branch offices, and they have a lot in common. Like many MFIs, Fundación clients are often repeat borrowers. They are already entrepreneurs before they receive their first loan. The classic example is the couple that owns the despensa, a small local grocery/variety store...

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Jun 6, 2008 PY Paraguay

When I told people I was going to spend my summer in Paraguay, I got mostly blank looks.  Unlike Jessica’s panic-inducing internet search results for Nigeria, my results were mostly, well, nonexistent. After all, Paraguay doesn’t have Machu Picchu or the “most dangerous road in the world”.  It doesn’t have Patagonia or the Galapagos.  No Buenos Aires or Rio de Janeiro.  Mostly it’s just an unknown country with a name similar to Uruguay.  Paraguay?  That’s the one in the middle of South America or on the coast?  Reminds me of when I moved to California from New...

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Jul 7, 2007 PY Paraguay

Hi All!

Its been a long and exciting week, and I’m just now finding some time to write. I hope you enjoy the chronicles of Argentina and Paraguay…note: photos will come in a seperate entry tomorrow:)

Buenos Aires, Argentina

I’ve dreamed about Argentina ever since I got to the point with my Spanish that I was able to tell the difference between a North and South American accent. Between Mexico and Nicaragua. Peru and Colombia. I’m not quite sure what it is, but there’s something completely irresistible about Argentine culture. Maybe it’s the vibrating jjjaah’s...

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