Stories tagged with CIDRE

Dec 12, 2012 BO Bolivia

Any Kiva Fellow will tell you that visiting Kiva borrowers is one of the most satisfying parts of our experience. This is our moment to go beyond the borrower photographs and short biographies on the Kiva website. We greet borrowers by shaking hands and kissing cheeks, we sit in their homes, we walk through their fields, we touch the garments they sew and taste the baked goods from their ovens, we learn the names of their cows, and we try to make their children smile.

These are moments when we transcend the digital world and our Kiva connections become human.

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Nov 11, 2012 BO Bolivia

“Do you know the real San Severino?” asked the inebriated man next to me on the bus back to Cochabamba. “The real San Severino!”

I wasn’t too sure exactly what he meant; the real San Severino died over 1500 years ago. “Well, um, I know he was a saint, from Europe I think, who brings the rains…” I stumbled but tried my best to answer him.

“Bah! No one knows the real San Severino!” he blustered.

After a moment the question came again: “Do you know...

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Nov 11, 2012 BO Bolivia

Agriculture has long been the anchor for the people of land-locked Bolivia. As a testament to the region’s horticultural richness, the number of foods originating here is impressive: potatoes, chili peppers, peanuts, pineapple, kidney beans, manioc, quinoa… foods we all know and should love.

You say potato, I say potahto: Cultivar diversity on display in a Bolivian market

And nowhere else in Bolivia is farming as vital as in the Central...

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Oct 10, 2011 BO Bolivia

By Mariela Cedeño, KF16, Bolivia.

Every time I walk into one of CIDRE’s offices in Bolivia, I always stop and take a look at their street sign. I’m not sure why, it’s a weird habit that reminds me of where I am, who I am working with, and the amazing opportunity that has been afforded to me as a Kiva Fellow. This past week, however, when walking into one of CIDRE’s branch offices I thought to myself, “I see this sign and I know that it means ‘loans available here’, but how do entrepreneurs know that they can get...

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Oct 10, 2011 BO Bolivia

By Mariela Cedeño, KF16, Bolivia.

Banking the unbankable has always been my favorite nomenclature attached to the microcredit movement that has gained such strong momentum in recent years. When feeling more long-winded, I like to describe microcredit as a useful poverty alleviation tool (a piece of the pie) by which those that have been traditionally left out of the formal banking sector can access capital to help grow their enterprises. Though it’s difficult to measure exactly how many...

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Feb 2, 2011 BJ Benin

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

Kiva's microfinance partners often provide services beyond finance, including housing (pictured above in Colombia), education, energy, agriculture, hospitality, business, women's rights, community, and culture.

Another week, another incredible range of dispatches from around the world. Several Fellows told their stories with video and pictures while others took time to reflect on the state of microfinance as a global...

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Feb 2, 2011 BO Bolivia

A few months ago, I wrote a blog post that drew on my experiences as a Kiva Fellow in Bolivia to discuss two points of criticism about microfinance, specifically from Aaron Ausland’s Huffington Post article, “How Microfinance Lost its Soul”. In this second installment, I will attempt to do the same, focusing on the portrayal of microfinance put forth by Tom Heinemann’s controversial documentary, The Micro Debt.

Supporters of microfinance seem to agree on two things about the film The Micro Debt:

(1) The discussion surrounding microfinance and its perceived and real impact,...

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Jan 1, 2011 BO Bolivia

Kiva strives to connect microfinance borrowers and lenders from all corners of the globe – and one medium through which it is able to accomplish this is the Kiva Fellows blog. I would therefore like to dedicate this post to telling the story of Javier Aguilar Soto, the things I learned from meeting with him, and some broader lessons I gained, through the meeting, about the field of microfinance.

Presenting Javier

Javier lives in a rural area outside of the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia and is a client of the Microfinance Institution (MFI) CIDRE. He and his wife...

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Dec 12, 2009 BO Bolivia

By Suzy Price Marinkovich, KF9 Bolivia

“In a world that is hot—a world that is more and more affected by global warming—guess who is going to suffer the most?  It will be the people who caused it the least—the poorest people in the world, who have no electricity, no cars, no power plants, and virtually no factories to emit CO2 into the atmosphere.  Many of the 2.4 billion people who live on $2 a day or less reside in rural areas and depend directly on the soil, forests, and plants in their immediate vicinity for subsistence.” –Thomas Friedman, “Hot, Flat,...

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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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