Stories tagged with Peru

Aug 8, 2009 PE Peru

By Courtney Kemps, KF8 Peru

I thought I’d share this little story because I think it nicely illustrates both the typical and the wildly atypical in my work as a Kiva Fellow.  And it also illustrates how these two opposites sometimes intertwine in unusual ways . . . .

In the course of my work with Kiva field partner Manuela Ramos I have spent a lot of my time interviewing Kiva borrowers to provide lenders with updates on their businesses.  Each week I attend several communal bank meetings in order to meet the borrowers and set up interviews with them.  All of Manuela’...

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Aug 8, 2009 PE Peru

By Rob Mittelman, KF8, Peru

Most days I struggle with what I see.

The academic in me would explain the concept of economic dualism as the coexistence of modern and traditional sectors within a single economy, especially as found in less-developed countries. Modern and traditional are perhaps polite terms for rich and poor (that’s not the academic in me, that’s the cynic). The division between rich and poor, or modern and traditional, is as great here as I’ve seen in Latin America. Statistics may say otherwise but I see a great...

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Aug 8, 2009 PE Peru

By Suzy Marinkovich, KF8 Peru

What is an artist?  What is an artisan? Are they different?

The debate caught my interest when I was walking away from Ayacucho’s Ex-Carcel, a former prison now converted to an artisan market where many of our Kiva borrowers at FINCA Peru work.  As I chatted with Jen, a friend of mine and herself an avid student of language, I couldn’t shake something she said.  She noted that the term ‘artisan’ often seems more related to poverty or developing nations, whereas the term ‘artist’ seems more attached to an upper-crust society, or...

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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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Aug 8, 2009 PE Peru

By Courtney Kemps, KF8 Peru

1 kg of peeled cocona fruits

2 liters of water

450 grams of sugar

10 grams of stabilizer

2 cups of milk

These are the ingredients for making popsicles from cocona, a bright orange-yellow fruit grown in Peru’s jungle region.   This recipe was one of four distributed to all who attended a...

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Aug 8, 2009 PE Peru

by Rob Mittelman, KF8, Peru

When I visit Kiva Borrowers, I bring along a colour printout of their Kiva Profile for them to keep. For many of them it’s a real thrill. They knew their information was on the internet but had never seen their page, their picture, or read their own story before (our stories appear in the original Spanish underneath the English translation). It usually gets passed around and shown to all present. There are always lots of giggles and some embarrassment as I tell them people in the US...

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Jul 7, 2009 PE Peru

By Suzy Marinkovich, KF8 Peru

When did I begin to learn about savings?  I can’t say I’m any good at it, but at one point far and long ago, I know I learned about it.

I suppose it was simply modeled to me by my parents, dedicated savers and cautious spenders.  For many of us, saving seems so natural a concept that it’s hard to climb outside of our nutshells to see the rest of the world’s reality.  Banks are readily available to many of us, and they often shell out incentives for us to save with them – collecting interest, investing, and the like.  It seems...

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Jul 7, 2009 PE Peru

By Courtney Kemps, KF8 Peru

Recently I made the mistake of trying to visit a Kiva borrower during Peru’s countrywide transportation strike on July 8th and 9th, a mistake which had rather scary consequences (fortunately of short duration)!  Transportation associations around the country had called for the strike in response to a new law passed by the government, a law which greatly increased the fines for driving offenses such as speeding or running a red light.  Many people felt that the law was unfair because the fines were out of proportion to people’s salaries: those who...

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Jul 7, 2009 PE Peru

Posted by Lee Bruner KF8

In Cusco, Perú, there are numerous holidays during the winter months of June and July. Most recently the town celebrated Inti Raymi (the Sun Festival), an Incan tradition marking the beginning of a new year with the winter soltice. Many  companies make up their own traditional outfits and march through the main square in a parade that lasts for around 12 hours.

I am currently working with Asociación Arariwa, Kiva’s field partner in the Sacred Valley of Perú. When I arrived last month, preparations for Inti Raymi were already underway: signs...

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Jul 7, 2009 PE Peru

By Courtney Kemps, KF8 Peru

Last week I spoke with Patricia Isidro, supervisor of the loan officers in Manuela Ramos’s Pucallpa office, about a wave of pyramid schemes which seriously affected many of the institution’s borrowers in the Pucallpa area over the past year.  This “pyramid game” (juego de la pirámide), as it is known here, can take several different forms, but most commonly each person recruits two others to contribute 300 soles (about $100).  These two each recruit two more, and so on down the line.  The money is transferred up the pyramid to the person at the...

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