Stories tagged with Peru

Jun 6, 2009 PE Peru

¡La selva no se vende, la selva se defiende!

“The forest is not for sale, The forest we defend!” shouted the community of Ayacucho while pumping their fists in the air.  Sweat dripped down their foreheads in the midday sun and not a soul was dressed for a day at the office.   The spirit of the crowd was overwhelming, as if every person had their heart invested in the political crisis unfolding in Peru, no matter its geographic distance from here.

Hours after my arrival in Ayacucho on Tuesday, while I was still entranced by the cultural beauty of the place and...

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May 5, 2009 PE Peru

What is your dream for your future?  As a Kiva Fellow living in Puno, Peru, writing journals for Kiva and Manuela Ramos entrepreneurs, this is a question I have asked approximately 150 women.  Over the last three and a half months, one of my main responsibilities as a fellow has been to meet the entrepreneurs of Manuela Ramos who have been funded through Kiva and to write journals about their lives, their businesses and the loans that help them succeed in these businesses.  In order to gather the information needed to write these journals, I travel to bank meetings or to the entrepreneur’s...

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May 5, 2009 PE Peru

by Rob Mittelman, KF8 Peru

In the immortal words of Austin Powers, “Allow myself to introduce…myself”.  My name is Rob Mittelman from Ottawa, Canada and I’m a member of KF8 headed to Lima, Peru to work with Edaprospo. When I’m not working as a Kiva Fellow, I’m a PhD in Management Candidate at Carleton University.

When I first traveled to South America and was called gringo, I was very defensive. I always thought it was a pejorative term for Americans. I’m a proud Canadian after all; I’m no gringo.

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May 5, 2009 PE Peru

Three months ago, I came to Tarapoto, Peru armed with all sorts of tools to start my Kiva fellowship; cameras, powerpoint presentations about Kiva, books about microfinance, and a ton of information acquired during training at Kiva headquarters in San Francisco. While all these were useful, nothing could really prepare me for the most challenging part of my fellowship; finding the borrowers I had to interview to get journal updates for Kiva lenders. Just as my colleague Emily struggled to find Kiva borrowers in Puno, Peru, I had a similar set of challenges in the San Martin region,...

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May 5, 2009 PE Peru

Some of you may be aware of the definition of the Community, or Village, Bank and the role it plays in many Microfinance Institutions (MFIs).  For those of you who are not familiar with the concept, I’d like to offer a brief history of the Community Bank and it’s function in Manuela Ramos, an MFI and women’s movement in Peru.  Although community banks operate differently in distinct countries and MFIs, the origin of the community bank and it’s general functions are usually the same regardless of the place of operation.

The idea of the Community Bank originated with the development...

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May 5, 2009 PE Peru

As a Kiva Fellow, one of my main duties is to bring you stories about entrepreneurs using microcredit to improve their lives. A few weeks ago, I met a remarkable entrepreneur called Neni. Neni is almost 28, she is married and has a 7 year-old daughter. When I arrived at her home, she kindly invited me to sit in her tiny kitchen and treated me to fried plantains and a portion of jell-o.

Neni started selling food when she was 20 years-old, after finding out she was pregnant. One day, she heard about Manuela Ramos/CrediMujer and she thought she could benefit from the small loans...

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Apr 4, 2009 PE Peru

As if volleyball and soccer were not challenging enough, imagine playing these sports in long skirts, dress shoes and traditional hats that barely stay on your head in the slightest wind. I have been to and played in sports tournaments my entire life, but until last week I had never experienced a tournament like this!

As a Kiva Fellow working with the Microfinance Institution (MFI), Manuela Ramos, I have the privilege of attending not only community bank meetings, where groups of women come together to take out small loans, but also community events that are meant to empower women...

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Apr 4, 2009 PE Peru

After almost two months living in Puno, Peru and after a few embarrassing moments when tourists I encountered asked me for advice about visiting Lake Titicaca and I had to sheepishly admit that I hadn’t yet embarked, I decided it was time to make the trip. In my defense, I had been waiting for the rainy season to pass and for someone to go with. Luckily, last weekend both my prerequisites were met.

Through a Kiva connection, I met a fellow microfinance worker, Zoe, who was conducting surveys on microfinance interest rates in Puno. In the good and admittedly much needed company of...

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Mar 3, 2009 PE Peru

As a Kiva Fellow volunteering for a Microfinance Institution (MFI) in Puno, Peru, one of my responsibilities is to interview women entrepreneurs who have received loans from the MFI, Manuela Ramos, and Kiva.  During the interview the goal is to obtain their photos, learn how the woman used the loan, and gather more information about her life – her hopes, dreams and hardships.  With this information I can, and other fellows and MFI employees can, provide a follow up to the people who have made loans to these...

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Mar 3, 2009 PE Peru

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing?-it’s the too huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”

-On the Road by Jack Kerouac

No quote better summarized my feelings when I left the Bay Area to start my fellowship with Kiva in Peru.  This video is a glimpse into my crazy adventure...

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