Stories tagged with Americas

Sep 9, 2009 BO Bolivia

By Suzy Marinkovich, KF9 Bolivia

We can’t get enough of them.  We love them so much that they even have their own lending team of fans and a discussion on KivaFriends.  Whether they are made of straw or soft fabric, bowler, flat-brimmed, or a tiny saucer looking thing on our borrower’s heads – we just love them.

There is an old English adage that says, “If you want to get ahead in life, you should get yourself a hat.”

I like hats, and I’ll wear one every now and again – maybe for Opening Day in Del Mar or during a long hike to beat the heat (and, of course,...

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Sep 9, 2009 BO Bolivia

By Suzy Marinkovich, KF9

My husband walked in to the CIDRE office this Tuesday around 5pm, smiling big but smelling awful. Everyone crowded around and asked, “Mateo! Como le ha ido?” – “How was your [first] day?” I could tell they were worried all day when they had asked me if I heard from him, but I knew he was fine. They may worry that this gringo from the States, who is still very much learning Spanish, can’t hang in ‘el campo’ (the farm). But Matt loves that kind of stuff.

My husband is a veterinary technician back home, and is currently applying to...

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Sep 9, 2009 PE Peru

By Shereef Zaki, KF9, Perú

What do you want to be when you grow up? What are your hopes? What are your dreams?

Throughout my childhood, these questions constantly attached themselves to the most prosaic daily interactions. In a sense I, and most of my peers, were conditioned to be ambitious dreamers, convinced of the limitless possibilities our futures held (and still hold).

When speaking with borrowers one of our unstated goals as Kiva Fellows is to uncover their latent sense of possibility and excitement at the prospect of...

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Sep 9, 2009 PE Peru

By Suzy Marinkovich, KF8

I remember when I was a teenager, I’d awaken in the middle of the night and meander to the kitchen for a glass of water and my dad would be perched there in his chair with a yellow notepad, writing madly about some scientific revelation.  He was always so quiet, and his presence would catch me by surprise.  The way his hair was completely messed up and his eyes scarily determined, I could swear in these moments he was a mad scientist.  He was coming up with a new theory, some new protein to test for in his lab.  I always felt that surely, by the...

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Sep 9, 2009 PE Peru

By Shereef Zaki, KF9, Perú

On August 22nd the New York Times published the article On to Plan B: Starting a Business describing the unexpected spike of new entrepreneurs emerging from the wreckage of the crisis. They quote the Kauffman foundation and bring the term ‘necessity entrepreneurship’ into the mainstream. And in so doing they articulate one of the misperceptions that surrounds the incentives behind starting a business.

Sometimes I really get the feeling that the talking heads, professors, text-books and pols...

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Aug 8, 2009 PE Peru

By Shereef Zaki, KF9, Perú

As my first week working with EDPYME Alternativa, one of Kiva’s newest partners, draws to a close I can think of only one phrase to describe the world of micro-finance: recession-proof. Having just come out of the economic and political turmoil caused by the so-called, “Great Recession,” in the US, the vitality and celerity of micro-businesses is cast into even greater relief.

I want to begin by introducing you, the Kiva community, to EDPYME Alternativa. Born of an effort in the Peruvian Chamber of Commerce, EDPYME Alternativa is a...

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Aug 8, 2009 PE Peru

By Courtney Kemps, KF8 Peru

I thought I’d share this little story because I think it nicely illustrates both the typical and the wildly atypical in my work as a Kiva Fellow.  And it also illustrates how these two opposites sometimes intertwine in unusual ways . . . .

In the course of my work with Kiva field partner Manuela Ramos I have spent a lot of my time interviewing Kiva borrowers to provide lenders with updates on their businesses.  Each week I attend several communal bank meetings in order to meet the borrowers and set up interviews with them.  All of Manuela’...

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Aug 8, 2009 PE Peru

By Suzy Marinkovich, KF8 Peru

What is an artist?  What is an artisan? Are they different?

The debate caught my interest when I was walking away from Ayacucho’s Ex-Carcel, a former prison now converted to an artisan market where many of our Kiva borrowers at FINCA Peru work.  As I chatted with Jen, a friend of mine and herself an avid student of language, I couldn’t shake something she said.  She noted that the term ‘artisan’ often seems more related to poverty or developing nations, whereas the term ‘artist’ seems more attached to an upper-crust society, or...

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Aug 8, 2009 BO Bolivia

By Cynthia McMurry, KF8 Ecuador

Over the past year, I have learned valuable lessons about life, gotten to know myself better, greatly enriched my understanding of microfinance, observed the workings of the informal economy in Latin America, been touched by many clients’ stories and experiences, and been proud to represent Kiva at four different MFIs in three South American countries.

Some of my favorite moments, though, have absolutely nothing to do with microfinance. They’re little cultural quirks, lifestyle adaptations, or just silly everyday things that make me...

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Aug 8, 2009 PE Peru

By Courtney Kemps, KF8 Peru

1 kg of peeled cocona fruits

2 liters of water

450 grams of sugar

10 grams of stabilizer

2 cups of milk

These are the ingredients for making popsicles from cocona, a bright orange-yellow fruit grown in Peru’s jungle region.   This recipe was one of four distributed to all who attended a...

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