Stories tagged with Peru

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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Nov 11, 2010 PE Peru

Introduction:  Edpyme Alternativa (EA), the microfinance institution with which I currently work, offers a reduced interest rate product that is funded by Kiva lenders.  Edpyme Alternativa (EA) is using the product to reach unbanked or underbanked communities.  Because the capital that you, the lender, provides to EA is interest free and low risk, EA is able to take greater risks on local borrowers and provide them with a more affordable product.  In my opinion this is a beautiful use of the Kiva funding and one that I expect will take on a larger share of Kiva’s lending activity as...

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Oct 10, 2010 PE Peru

By Julie Shea, KF12, Peru

Living abroad and dealing with cultural differences will inevitably, at some point, present challenges and frustrations. I think it’s the manner in which we address, deal with, and learn from these challenges that make time spent living in a foreign culture so valuable. One of the challenges I had to deal with during my time in Pucallpa (a city in Peru’s Amazon region) was the attention I got from men as a female foreigner.

It came as quite a shock to me, after having spent time in Lima (the capital) and Puno (in the Andes region), where...

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Sep 9, 2010 PE Peru

By Julie Shea, KF12, Peru

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationship between microfinance and economic development of Peru on a countrywide scale. I’m struck by the fact that the microloans procured by female entrepreneurs, while instrumental in allowing the women to better their situations for themselves and their families, seem to have little direct influence on the economic development of Peru as a whole. For example, I have met very few loan recipients whose business activities are creating jobs; the majority of women work by themselves (and for themselves) in the...

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