Stories tagged with Americas

Aug 8, 2010 EC Ecuador

Gold was not one of the topics I would have guessed I´d be immersed in as a Kiva Fellow. But last week I found myself in a tiny backroom at Fundacion Espoir in Cuenca, Ecuador learning the details of what is perhaps their most innovative product: gold-guaranteed loans or “prenda oro.”

Sound like a pawn shop? It´s not. For one, Espoir offers a significantly lower price for gold than it´s competitors. This means they attract customers who are more concerned with getting their jewelry back than getting the highest price possible. The result? Aligned interests....

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Aug 8, 2010 SV El Salvador

Whether it’s the memory of a drawn-out civil war, stories of gangs and violence, or the influence of one of Central America’s most prolific emigrant communities, El Salvador’s complex past directly relates to the challenges it faces today.

El Salvador’s modern history stems from its Civil War, officially fought between 1980 and 1992. Waged within the context of the Cold War, the conflict pit an established national army, backed by the Reagan administration, against a leftist guerilla force known as the FMLN. The guerillas were based in the rugged and remote mountains of...

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Jun 6, 2010 HN Honduras

Matt Raimondi, KF11

Familia y Medio Ambiente (FAMA OPDF) is Kiva’s newest Field Partner in Honduras.  FAMA was started in the village of San Nicolás in the municipality of Juticalpa in the department of Olancho in 1990 with the implementation of two loan programs, education loans and sustainable agriculture loans. The first loans were for 50 Lempiras (Approx. $25USD in 1990).

FAMA has grown significantly from its humble beginnings and is now headquartered in Juticalpa, Olancho and operates 12 additional branches throughout Honduras,...

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Jun 6, 2010 CL Chile

By Kati Mayfield, KF11 Chile

Let’s hear it for everyone who works hard: supporting themselves, supporting their families, and trying to balance their professional and personal lives!

We all know that this balance is nearly impossible to achieve, but the formula becomes especially complicated when you run your own business.

While microfinance very much opens up otherwise inaccessible business opportunities to micro-entrepreneurs and their families, the obligations of running these businesses and repaying loans can be a cause of great strain and tension.


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Jun 6, 2010 SV El Salvador

By Matt Raimondi, KF11, Honduras

Natural disasters take on a whole other meaning when living in a developing country.  As we have witnessed with the recent catastrophes in Haiti and Chile, the poorest people are often the most effected and what little they have is often lost.  When 80% of your population lives below the poverty line, as is the case in Haiti, the aftermath can be crippling.  While the initial press coverage is intense and people’s willingness to provide aid is plentiful, too often these countries and their people are forgotten as the excitement and...

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May 5, 2010 MX Mexico

By Sally Bolton, KF11, Mexico

Once upon a time in Oaxaca, Mexico there was a fine river which flowed below Jicaltepec. Nowadays the fish are gone and the earth is dry. Young children are wide-eyed at their parents’ stories of playing and swimming in the river as children themselves.

It seems impossibly dry in the Costa Chica, a region on the south coast of Mexico a few hours east of Acapulco. Straddling the states of Guerrero and Oaxaca, the villages of the Costa Chica are far removed from the decadence of the famous resort town.

The hills are tinderbox- dry,...

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May 5, 2010 HN Honduras

By Matt Raimondi, KF11, Honduras

I recently arrived in Juticalpa, Honduras to begin my Kiva Fellowship at FAMA OPD’F, a brand new Kiva partner.  (FAMA has yet to post any loans but will be posting their first loans in the upcoming weeks.  Be on the lookout for a blog post announcing their first loans!)

FAMA HQ, Juticalpa, Honduras

A longtime Kiva supporter, I began lending over three years ago and became a Volunteer Spanish Translator for Kiva a year and a half ago. I...

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Apr 4, 2010 LB Lebanon

Generally when I escape to the Beirut Corniche to go running, I try to avoid making contact with the young lovers sharing a romantic moment in their parked cars. However, on this particular day I could not help but get involved as I saw a brawny man repeatedly and violently beating the crying veiled woman sitting in his car. She tried to get out. He locked the door. She was hunched next to the window trembling in fear pleading him to stop. He told her to shut up.


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Mar 3, 2010 HN Honduras

Kati Mayfield, KF10 Honduras

Before I go to meet Prisma’s Kiva clients, I like to look at the pictures in the their  “funded by” list, and to see which are the top lending teams to have contributed to their loan.  Because the Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious team has made the most loans overall on Kiva, it’s not surprising that it is the top lender for many Prisma clients.

It appeared as such for one client I spoke with last week.  Hers was a particularly powerful interview because her father...

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Mar 3, 2010 CM Cameroon

By Dennis A. Espinoza, KF10, El Salvador

Imagine you are a mother or a father to both a son and a daughter.
If you only had enough money to send one of your two children to school, which one would you send?

This question was asked to potential microfinance borrowers at a training session led by GHAPE, a microfinance institution (MFI) and Kiva Field Partner based in Bamenda, Cameroon.

The most common answer among the group of 30+ prospective borrowers was my son but I also heard my daughter, the oldest, none and a few others.

The “right” answer was...

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