Stories tagged with Americas

Aug 8, 2009 PE Peru

by Rob Mittelman, KF8, Peru

When I visit Kiva Borrowers, I bring along a colour printout of their Kiva Profile for them to keep. For many of them it’s a real thrill. They knew their information was on the internet but had never seen their page, their picture, or read their own story before (our stories appear in the original Spanish underneath the English translation). It usually gets passed around and shown to all present. There are always lots of giggles and some embarrassment as I tell them people in the US...

Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Susan Arthur, KF8 (Kiva Fellow 8th Class) in Nicaragua

This week marks World Breastfeeding Week prompting me to contemplate how microfinance and breastfeeding play important roles in alleviating poverty.

More than 80% of Kiva entrepreneurs are women, many of whom are mothers with home-based businesses where they can easily satisfy their baby’s hunger and provide for their optimal growth by breastfeeding.  Indeed, on a few occasions, Kiva field partners have posted profile photos on Kiva’s site of borrowers nursing their babies.

Could breastfeeding rates...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 BO Bolivia

By: Nilima Achwal, KF8, Bolivia

While taking pictures throughout Bolivia of Kiva clients, colleagues, and friends, I’ve noticed a theme. Most people don’t smile. No matter if it’s a jolly loan officer who loves his job, the cleaning girl that always peers curiously over my shoulder at my laptop and brings me mate de coca, or good friends hanging out after work. The second I take out my camera, in fact, the second before I click the shutter, the grins vanish. Ironically (and maddeningly), the second the flash is out, the subject in question almost always smiles or laughs....

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 PE Peru

By Suzy Marinkovich, KF8 Peru

When did I begin to learn about savings?  I can’t say I’m any good at it, but at one point far and long ago, I know I learned about it.

I suppose it was simply modeled to me by my parents, dedicated savers and cautious spenders.  For many of us, saving seems so natural a concept that it’s hard to climb outside of our nutshells to see the rest of the world’s reality.  Banks are readily available to many of us, and they often shell out incentives for us to save with them – collecting interest, investing, and the like.  It seems...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 BO Bolivia

By: Nilima Achwal, KF8 Bolivia

I rode on the back of a motorcycle with a loan officer while going to visit Kiva clients on the outskirts of Cochabamba, Bolivia. As my hair blew in the wind, I took in the tranquil green pastures, spotted cows grazing, and women in colorful skirts strolling down the dirt road. When we stopped, I exclaimed, “I love this part of town!” “Really?” the loan officer answered in shock. “I thought you would be horrified; this is the poorest section of town.”

I didn’t quite know how to respond to that. True, I had noticed that the area was very poor,...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Susan Arthur, KF8 (Kiva Fellow 8th Class) in Nicaragua

Episodio 3: Doña Cony plans ahead.

In May, she planted a granadilla fruit tree in her back courtyard in Managua. It looks more like a vine, and it stands about five feet two inches tall, about the height of Doña Cony.

Granadillas Equals “Dineritos”

'

“It...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 EC Ecuador

By Cynthia McMurry, KF8, Ecuador

Everyday conversations with people in Cuenca provide countless anecdotes of people whose families have been separated by emigration. Everyone seems to have family in the US or Spain, if not a spouse then a brother, sister, cousin or child. At a group meeting last week, a borrower joked that she’d like me to sneak her into the US in my backpack. I asked her and the rest of the group if they had family members in the States, and all ten women nodded their heads in unison.  Recently, I was chatting with a friend whose father is living in New...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 PE Peru

Posted by Lee Bruner KF8

In Cusco, Perú, there are numerous holidays during the winter months of June and July. Most recently the town celebrated Inti Raymi (the Sun Festival), an Incan tradition marking the beginning of a new year with the winter soltice. Many  companies make up their own traditional outfits and march through the main square in a parade that lasts for around 12 hours.

I am currently working with Asociación Arariwa, Kiva’s field partner in the Sacred Valley of Perú. When I arrived last month, preparations for Inti Raymi were already underway: signs...

Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 CR Costa Rica

By Megan Tatman Montgomery, KF8 Costa Rica

Microfinance involves a tremendous amount of legwork.  While Kiva is all about facilitating connections between borrowers and lenders, it’s important to recognize the hard work of those in the field that make sure your money gets to microentrepreneurs that need it the most.  Here is a brief glimpse into EDESA, Kiva’s field partner in Costa Rica, with a little more about how the organization works and the people that are working hard to alleviate poverty in Costa Rica.

'... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2009 BO Bolivia

By Nilima Achwal, KF8 Bolivia

On my second day in La Paz, I braved the high altitude and made my way to Calle Sagarnaga, the main tourist shopping street. As I trudged up the slippery cobbled street, a skinny middle-aged man carrying a folder easily kept pace beside me and urged me to take a look at his paintings. Since I only needed an excuse to stop climbing, I stopped, and the man started sifting through painting after painting of indigenous women wearing a myriad of hats and shawls and pointing out the corresponding figures on the street. I soon learned that his name was Jorge...

Continue Reading >>

Pages

LendingOnKiva