Stories tagged with Peru

Feb 2, 2011 PE Peru

Ayacucho, Peru. It is my second week as a Kiva Fellow at FINCA Peru and though there are many exciting events to come here in Ayacucho (Carnival, Semana Santa) for now it is still the rainy season and the town has a sleepy, lethargic feel. Since I am still getting acclimated and easing into my role at FINCA, I figured that a first blog post about a loyal and lively FINCA client that I was fortunate to visit would be a good start.

We run into Antonia at her weekly communal bank meeting and she greets us with a high pitched “GRINGITAS!”- which many of the older FINCA members...

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Feb 2, 2011 PE Peru

Last July, I sat in Kiva headquarters listening to speaker after speaker desperately trying to get a grasp on what life as a Kiva fellow would be like. Despite all my “international” experience, I don´t think anything could have prepared me for the adventure that was to come.  Personally, I set out to discover how microfinance worked, IF it worked, and how it impacted the lives of the people it touched, but I really had no idea what lay ahead of me.

My two Kiva fellowships have allowed me to work with four separate institutions: FAPE and ASDIR in Guatemala and Arariwa and Manuela...

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Feb 2, 2011 PE Peru

After my first week as a Kiva Fellow my short answer is no, and I guess the slightly longer answer, definitely not! That is what the clients of Microfinanzas PRISMA have shown me, especially Rosa of San Juan de Miraflores in Lima, Peru. Rosa is preparing the lunch she will serve to customers in the back kitchen when Ángela, the Kiva Assistant in the Lima Sur office of PRISMA, and I arrive. She comes outside immediately to talk to us, bringing a savory smell of potatoes with her.

Rosa is 56 years old and preparing to open her own restaurant in her house in the next year or so. How...

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Dec 12, 2010 PE Peru

By Eric Burdullis, KF12, Cuzco, Peru

As a Kiva Fellow, no two days are the same.  One morning I will wake up at 5am to try to visit a borrower before they head out to work, and the next I’ll be in the office uploading loans or training the Kiva team on how to take a great picture or write a journal worth reading.  In fact, as a Kiva Fellow, our job is so diverse that the Kiva staff creates long lists of things for us to do called deliverables.  My favorite on these “To Dos” is Borrower Verifications.  Essentially, we go into the field and do a spot check to make sure that...

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Dec 12, 2010 PE Peru

By Sarah Benjamin, KF13, Peru

As I meet with borrowers here in the low-income areas of Lima, I’m constantly surprised by how many “Avon ladies” there are.  Direct sales (for companies like Avon and Tupperware) are booming in developing countries like South Africa, Indonesia, and of course, Peru.  Avon began sales in Peru in 1982, but only in the last ten years have things really taken off.  Women are looking for ways to earn an income while still maintaining a flexible schedule and completing their traditional tasks relating to family and home.

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Dec 12, 2010 PE Peru

First of all, I love Christmas. The tree, Christmas lights (you can ask my parents about what I did to our house when I was a little kid), hot cider, going over to Grandma´s house on Christmas Eve, eating tamales (everyone has their own Christmas traditions), the stockings, Eggs Benedict Christmas morning, watching my Beagle open up his gifts.  The feeling of being around those who you love and those who love you.  I love all of it.

As I search for meaning over the Holidays, I reflect on what I would change about all of it if I could.  And (I know I am not original saying this) I...

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Dec 12, 2010 PE Peru

Last weekend, I had the chance to attend Asociación Arariwa´s year end planning retreat out in the Sacred Valley in Urubamba, Peru.  More than just spending the weekend having fun with my co-workers at the institution, I was excited to finally see what a microfinance institution (MFI) really is about.  On one hand as a Kiva Fellow, I get a very in depth look at how my MFI works, but on the other hand, Kiva is still perceived as a funding source for the MFI so they are constantly “putting their best foot forward”.  Arariwa´s 2011 strategic planning retreat was a way for me to see,...

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Nov 11, 2010 PE Peru

Back when I was just a Kiva lender, I thought how cool it would be to meet one of the borrowers that I had lent too.  I mean that is what just about every Kiva lender dreams of, right? You lend out to people halfway across the world all based off of a couple of paragraphs on a website and a 3” by 5” photo.  But you never really think twice about how real the needs of the people you are lending money to are or what difference the loan will mean in the borrowers life.

Which is why when people ask what I do, I can say seriously that I am living the dream.  As a Kiva fellow with FAPE in...

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Nov 11, 2010 PE Peru

I am always surprised by the power of online social media and networks. Facebook, Twitter, blogging sites like this WordPress one, dating sites like eHarmony, sharing sites like Freecycle or rating ones like Yelp all command huge followings and powerful networks.  The world becomes smaller thanks to sites like Facebook—it is sites like these that allow me to keep in touch with friends while I serve abroad as a Kiva Fellow.  Information gathering and sharing from news, to politics, to microfinance happenings or even the latest costume that friends have caused their pets to suffer through...

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Nov 11, 2010 PE Peru

By Julie Shea, KF12, Peru

As I finish up my three month fellowship with Kiva’s Peruvian field partner, Manuela Ramos/CrediMUJER, I would like to share a short video in which Executive Director Gloria Díaz discusses the organization’s work empowering the women of rural Peru, as well as the role Kiva lenders play in supporting that work.

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If you feel...

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