Stories tagged with Americas

Dec 12, 2009 BO Bolivia

By Suzy Marinkovich, KF9

“Coca is green, not white like cocaine.”  – Evo Morales

The Chapare, the Yungas, the DEA, USAID, cocaine, drug trafficking, alternative crops, forced eradication, Evo Morales.

These are the buzz words constantly attached to Bolivian articles on the both domestic and foreign-aided drug war against cocaine production.  While tough to get the facts on cocaine production by country, suffice it to say Bolivia is one of the world’s biggest cocaine producers along with the likes of Peru and Colombia.  To put it in perspective, Bolivian...

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Dec 12, 2009 CR Costa Rica

Alana Solimeo, KF9, Costa Rica

I am a seasoned gringa-tica.  I have made it through the rainy season and now enjoy the warmth of the sun…much deserved.  It’s a hard thing to reason with your expectations of a big life event, such as a 3 month placement in America’s favorite destination, the happiest place on Earth, because we know we’ll deal with the good and bad, fun and scary, beautiful and horrific.  The only catch is that just as the beautiful is more enlightening and refreshing than you could ever dream, the scary is darker and more lonely than you’d prepared for...

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Dec 12, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Kelly McKinnon, KF9, León, Nicaragua

It’s not Christmas.

90 degree days and the glow of the Nicaraguan sunlight and my celebration of Thanksgiving in the reception of a medical clinic where I was diagnosed with a stomach bacteria, (Oh the irony!) somehow make the holiday season seem far away.

And yet, I didn’t think it was Friday either. After checking my calendar, twice, I now recognize that my coworkers are not trying to trick me. And neither is the rest of Nicaragua.

Signs of the (rapidly) approaching holiday have been springing up around León and...

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Dec 12, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Victoria Kabak, KF9, Nicaragua

Since arriving in Nicaragua for my Kiva Fellowship about two months ago, my time here has been marked by a range of new experiences. I have become surprisingly adept at pouring juice from a plastic bag into a glass. I am intimately familiar with the smell of burning garbage, the most common way trash is disposed of here in Managua. I have perfected (and passed on) the art of wagging my finger to tell a taxi driver that I don’t want to get in when he already has another passenger. And for the first time, I’ve gotten to see how...

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Nov 11, 2009

By KF9, All Over The World

Happy Thanksgiving!  We KF9′ers thought we’d put together a collection of thoughts on Thanksgiving (sorry to those who don’t partake in Turkey day!) from our respective locations all over the world.  While we may not get to celebrate in our traditional way or be with family, I think its safe to say we are all extremely thankful for the opportunity to serve as Kiva Fellows and to have such wonderful readers on this blog! Happy Thanksgiving to all, and gobble gobble.

In no particular order:

Alana Solimeo, KF9...

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Nov 11, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Victoria Kabak, KF9, Nicaragua

As the holiday season fast approaches, I imagine many of you back at home are starting to make lists (checking them twice?) of presents or of people you’re going to buy presents for or even of presents you hope someone else gets you. It’s no secret that businesses in the United States – and in other countries – experience a significant uptick in sales in December.

But I’ve learned in the past few weeks that this phenomenon isn’t unique to the United States or to developed countries. Many of the borrowers I’ve met with recently have...

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Nov 11, 2009 PE Peru

Suzy Marinkovich, KF8 Peru & KF9 Bolivia

One of the most exciting things about being a Kiva Fellow is the opportunity to tell the untold stories of those so remote, so rural, and so ignored by the media.  When there are six billion humans sprinkled across the world, the media has the unenviable task of picking and choosing stories that deserve local, national, or even global attention.  As a result, we hear about unimaginable tragedies plaguing certain parts of the world — and often only the most painful and shocking stories are...

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Nov 11, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Victoria Kabak, KF9, Nicaragua

Before I left for my placement as a Kiva Fellow in Nicaragua, I was browsing my microfinance institution’s web site, trying to see what I could learn from it and to familiarize myself with the organization, AFODENIC, a bit more. I clicked on a link in the left sidebar called “Fuentes de Financiamiento,” or “Sources of Funding.” After the page loaded, I realized that, subconsciously and perhaps naïvely, I had been expecting to see a particular logo we know so well, that comforting, familiar green logo, with its...

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Nov 11, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Kelly McKinnon, KF9 Leon Nicaragua

I fell off the sidewalk tonight. It was bound to happen.

The sidewalks here are raised and tiled and narrow. No extra room is allotted for lamp posts or stoops or two-way traffic, all must exist in no more than four feet dedicated to pedestrian passages.

The rules to walking in Leon are thus: a gentleman passes on the outside, there is plenty of room, and greet passersby with a smile and an “Adiooos.”

My days begin with these passages. Rather, as I, dedicated tom-boy, wobble to work in high...

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Oct 10, 2009 PE Peru

By Shereef Zaki, KF9, Perú

Cultural issues surrounding privacy can be one of Kiva’s biggest challenges regarding implementation in the field. Not everyone wants their photo publicized and many hold suspicions when it comes time to sign a waiver. But I think the biggest challenge for Kiva is far more prosaic. The act of getting to a borrower can be an ordeal in and of itself, and things just got more ‘adventurous’ at my MFI.

EDPYME Alternativa has created a new loan product – called Capital Semilla or Seed Capital – destined specifically for clients who will become...

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