Stories tagged with Americas

Sep 9, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Emmanuel M. von Arx, KF 16, Ecuador

Taxi drivers were not in the forefront of my mind when I was walking out of Guayaquil´s international airport into the hot and humid air of this Ecuadorian port city. I had just been welcomed by Rubi Chaca who thankfully was driving me to my hotel. Rubi is the expert in charge of managing the loans made by Kiva lenders at Kiva´s partner organization Banco D-MIRO.

Only minutes before, as my plane was approaching Guayaquil, I had been able to grasp the enormity of this sprawling city. As I was soon to learn, Guayaquil represents a...

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Sep 9, 2011 SV El Salvador

By Andrea Ramirez, KF16,  El Salvador

In recent years the microfinance sector has been hit with harsh criticism about the real impact it has on improving the lives of the low-income clients it serves. If it is true that microfinance, including micro-credit, is not the panacea for poverty; it is also true that Microfinance Institutions (“MFIs”) don’t have an easy job. MFIs and their staff are, in my opinion, the true heroes. Their loan officers and administrative staff are those who are out there, day after day, meeting clients and trying to help...

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Aug 8, 2011 CL Chile

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF15, Togo

This week on the Kiva fellows blog, take a cooking class with a Kiva borrower in Ecuador and learn how to make two mouthwatering local specialties: quimbalitos and tamales. Continue on to Sierra Leone to see how autarky is the goal of Kiva fellowships as well as micro loans. Then return to Ecuador to watch a video about traditional dances, find out about the feeling of “saudade” and reflect on the juxtaposition of poverty and prosperity. Finally, learn how a social performance study can be constructed in Chile....

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Aug 8, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Megan Bond, KF15, Ecuador

Yesterday, as I left the office of FODEMI for the final time I felt as if I could not find the words to describe what I was feeling. Both the English and the Spanish languages had failed to provide me with a word that could capture the feeling of happiness and sadness that coexisted rather uncomfortably. There have been some serious ups-and-downs in my summer as a Kiva Fellow in Ecuador. I felt inspired and happy when I met some incredible Kiva borrowers, including an entrepreneur that I had helped fund. But, at other times, I felt frustrated or...

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Aug 8, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Megan Bond, KF15, Ecuador

Music, parades, disguises, fabulous street vendors, dancing in the streets, dancing in the fields, dancing wherever you feel like it – the Ecuadorians I’ve met love a good party and there’s nothing like a traditional fiesta to generate the right mood for all of the above. Fiestas have been a great opportunity for me to join in and have fun with the locals. Villages and towns all over have their own festivals days and there are certain times a year when the entire country is celebrating.

June marked the revered Festival...

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Aug 8, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Megan Bond, KF15, Ecuador

Music, parades, disguises, fabulous street vendors, dancing in the streets, dancing in the fields, dancing wherever you feel like it – the Ecuadorians I’ve met love a good party and there’s nothing like a traditional fiesta to generate the right mood for all of the above. Fiestas have been a great opportunity for me to join in and have fun with the locals. Villages and towns all over have their own festivals days and there are certain times a year when the entire country is celebrating.

June marked the revered Festival...

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Aug 8, 2011 NI Nicaragua

By Jason Jones, Kiva Fellow, Nicaragua

 (This entry is the first in a two-part series.  The second will be published in the coming week.)

I have a running debate with my girlfriend regarding the Nicaraguan class system.  Usually, it comes up as we’re driving around Managua.  We’ll be cruising around a particular neighborhood when one of us will begin speculating as to the economic classification of the area, based solely upon its outward appearance.  For example, I always claim that the neighborhood I...

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Jul 7, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Megan Bond, KF15, Ecuador

Kiva provides a new lens through which we can view global problems and solutions. Just contemplating a concept like “world poverty” seems like an insurmountable task. It is overwhelming. It is daunting. Kiva helps us focus our concerns for the problems presented by poverty on a global level by allowing us to connect with entrepreneurs in need of a hand up around the world on a more personal level. A loan through Kiva is an investment in an individual or group, a business, and a community. We could take it as far as saying that a loan through...

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Jul 7, 2011 CM Cameroon

Compiled by Kathrin Gerner, KF15, Togo

The Ile de Gorée in Senegal (by Tim Young)

This week, the Kiva fellows invite you to accompany them across Africa and South and Central America: Take a walk in the streets of San Salvador. Improve your language skills by adding a few words in three of South Africa’s most widely spoken languages to your vocabulary. Look poverty in the face in Cameroon. Continue by learning more about the latest riots in Senegal. Find...

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Jul 7, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Megan Bond, KF15, Ecuador

“Money is freedom and confidence and choice. And choice is dignity.”

-       Jacqueline Novogratz, The Blue Sweater

 

Eight years ago, Manuel told me, their house was very different from the one I was standing in. The walls were made of compressed earth and the roof was constructed out of dried straw. Manuel, his wife Cristiana, and their six children struggled on a daily basis to make ends meet. Looking for a change, they sought their first loan...

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