Stories tagged with Americas

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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Oct 10, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Victoria Kabak, KF9, Nicaragua

In one of our training sessions for the 9th class of Kiva Fellows at the end of September, a staffer told us that we might be living and working during our fellowships in places without street signs–because the streets are unnamed. He described how, in small towns, a direction might be given simply as “past the banana tree” or something similar. He even had a hand-drawn map that he got when he visited one of Kiva’s partners; the microfinance institution had sketched the diagram to indicate the locations of its...

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Oct 10, 2009 PE Peru

By Shereef Zaki, KF9, Perú

One of my first posts was titled ‘recession proof’’ in which I described the resilience of micro-businesses and the integrity of micro-lending. This time around, I want to detail a theme I had only painted with large brushstrokes.

Although EDPYME Alternativa’s borrowers are scattered throughout the region, I live in Chiclayo and it has become the backdrop and the context of my life. To me, one of the most fascinating parts of this small city is the dearth of big box stores. In their absence exists a constant buzz of small-scale commerce....

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Oct 10, 2009 BO Bolivia

By Adam Kemmis Betty, KF9, Bolivia

Kiva’s website provides a wealth of statistics for curious lenders, but one unfortunate and disappointingly uncontroversial omission is the altitude at which the loan was disbursed. With the average borrower living at 4,150 m (13,615 ft) above sea level, I’d be willing to bet that Pro Mujer Bolivia would be a good place to start in any search for Kiva’s highest microloan (any challenges from Peru or Kyrgyzstan?).

...
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Oct 10, 2009 DO Dominican Republic

By Thomas Gold, KF9 Dominican Republic

For English version, click on “read the rest of this entry”, then scroll down.

« La République Dominicaine est un pays aux couleurs vives, musiques et danses irrésistiblement entraînantes et climat tropical».Voici la seule image que j’étais capable de me figurer, en attendant mon avion à l’aéroport de San Francisco, du lieu où j’allais passer les prochains mois de ma vie.

Une semaine après mon arrivée dans le pays, cette vague représentation s’est précisée et matérialisée, en...

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Oct 10, 2009 NI Nicaragua

by Kelly McKinnon, KF9, Leon, Nicaragua

My attraction to Kiva and to their model of how microfinance fits into development, I’ve realized, has very much to do with their insistence upon the dignity of the individual. Throughout the Kiva Fellows training, through conversations and actions this concept was repeated, emphasized and modeled. I’m wishing I had the presence of mind to recognize that this exact insistence is what drew me here in the first place, wishing I recognized long ago this is what I felt during my summer in Honduras, wishing I had the eloquence to express...

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Oct 10, 2009 CR Costa Rica

By Alana Solimeo, KF9 Costa Rica

After six months of subsisting on rice and beans while living in Boulder, Colorado, in order to save scrupulously in hopes of being invited to the Kiva Fellows Program, where do I stand?  In San Jose, Costa Rica…eating nothing but rice and beans.  I am finally here and don’t let that intro fool you; I’m exactly where I want to be.  Three days into the fellowship and I already have my two favorite things planned: a weekend beach trip and a research topic! (No, I’m not a student just a serial nerd.)
I have been placed...

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Oct 10, 2009 PE Peru

By Shereef Zaki, KF9, Perú

‘Connecting people through lending,’ precedes ‘alleviating poverty,’ in Kiva’s mission statement. I have come to believe that the goal might actually be of a higher as opposed to a simple aesthetic preference. I mean, maybe we could eradicate poverty individually, but with the concerted effort of a community it can be done more effectively. In a community one can share ideas, efforts, problems, solutions and risks.

And last week that is exactly what Kiva’s partner institutions in Latin...

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Oct 10, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Victoria Kabak, KF9, Nicaragua

As some of you may have noticed, this week a notification was placed underneath the borrower profiles on all loans to Nicaraguan borrowers on Kiva.org. It reads, in part:

In mid 2008, a movement began in Nicaragua called “Movimiento No Pago” (a movement for non-payment of loans). This movement, supported mostly by farmers of the north of Nicaragua with ties to the left-wing party in Nicaragua, has been organizing protests (some violent) and forcing microfinance institution branches to close…This group has submitted a law to the...

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