Stories tagged with Cooperativa San Jose

Dec 12, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Marcus Berkowitz, KF16, Ecuador

Institutional birthdays in the US can be fairly stuffy affairs. Seating is often arranged to maximize contact with those in the institution with whom one has never spoken (perhaps for good reason, argue some guests) and they tend to be remembered more for inappropriate comments inserted into otherwise boring speeches rather than for the celebrations that they hope to be but rarely are.

Not so at the Cooperativa San Jose de Chimbo (CSJ). Instead of standing around awkwardly, everyone secretly wishing they were somewhere else, the 47th...

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Dec 12, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Marcus Berkowitz, KF16, Ecuador

“We built a little house” she replied happily, when I asked how she had used the loan. I looked down at my sheet. Oops. This loan, according to its Kiva description, was for corn seeds and fertilizers.

"A little house". Typical rural house made of wood, with a part-thatched, part-aluminum roof. Chillanes Canton.

Of course, we have no right to insist on any particular loan use. That’s not the point. But of the first...

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Nov 11, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Marcus Berkowitz, KF16, Ecuador

When I was a kid and I asked for something I wasn’t going to get, my mother would start snidely singing, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”. Unfortunately for borrowers with a lot of outstanding debt, nobody is there to sing to them if they don’t get the loan they are looking for.

My first experience meeting borrowers several weeks ago was thus a complicated one. First, a little background.

The Cooperativa San Jose (CSJ), a credit union, has been implementing its Ventanillas Rurales micro-loan product in the remote Ecuadorian...

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Oct 10, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Marcus Berkowitz, KF16, Ecuador

Imagine yourself stepping outside of your tomato-colored house and onto a peaceful street, steeply hung over a mid-sized Ecuadorian town nestled in a lush valley. It’s nearly silent as you walk to the bus stop. You can see the center of town bustling below you. The giant Mt. Chimborazo in the distance and the smaller range just in front of it block the harshness of the early morning sun, casting a soft light on the quiet countryside.

This peace lasts no more than a couple of minutes before it is loudly shattered by the shouting of...

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Oct 10, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Marcus Berkowitz, KF16, Ecuador

Farmers are tough cookies. As it turns out, they’re even tougher to finance effectively. Those who work in agriculture are faced with a unique set of conditions that make most traditional microfinance methods unfeasible for them. This post examines some of the reasons why farmers stand apart from other borrowers, and explores the clever efforts of an Ecuadorian Kiva partner to craft a loan product that is appropriate to their needs.

The partner is the Cooperativa de Ahorro y Credito San Jose de Chimbo, (Cooperativa San Jose...

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Sep 9, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Marcus Berkowitz, KF16, Ecuador

“Do you know how to ride a motorcycle?” asked the stranger seated directly in front of me, his voice muffled by his helmet.

I thought it a little late to ask, seeing as I was currently gripping his belly from behind as we flew, several mph faster than strict necessity would dictate, around a precipitously tight corner on the edge of the western cordillera of the Andes.

“No,” I said, “I’m supposed to put my hands over your eyes, right?”

Luckily he didn’t hear me. Or at least was kind enough to pretend not to.

It...

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Aug 8, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Kate Bennett (KF15)

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Small business owners in Ecuador, like Marcia Suqui in the video above, can use their microloans to move forward with their businesses and improve their quality of life. After all, this is the idea driving Kiva- that small loans can change lives. But not all small loans can improve a business owner’s standing, because the darker side...

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Jan 1, 2011 AM Armenia

By Kiva Fellows, Various corners of the globe

Around the world, Kiva Fellows are celebrating the start of 2011 in all sorts of different ways. Here’s what some KF13-ers are doing to ring in the New Year.

Enjoy and Happy 2011!

Ellen Willems, Ecuador

Ecuadorians, as I was told, celebrate the coming of the New Year, and more importantly the going of the “Old Year” by making “monigotes”. These are dolls made of old clothes, stuffed with newspapers or sawdust and sometimes with fireworks as well. They have masks made of papier...

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Dec 12, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Ellen Willems, KF13, Ecuador.

Ecuador has only two seasons: summer or dry season and winter or wet season. Right now it is winter and it rains almost every day. For the loan officers at Cooperativa San José this rain equals mud and a lot of it. To meet the poorest and most remote borrowers these loan officers spend many challenging hours on their motorcycles navigating bad roads, and, on rainy days, getting wet and covered in mud.

They do this to meet with the members of the “Ventanillas Rurales” (Village Banks). This is a special loan product Cooperativa San José offers...

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Dec 12, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Ellen Willems, KF13, Ecuador

On November 22nd the Tungurahua volcano, located in the central mountains of Ecuador, started to expel ashes and on December 4th a major eruption forced the farmers living in the area to leave. The Tungurahua volcano (Tungurahua meaning “throat of fire” in Quichua) has been active since 1999. Aurélie Dagneaux, a previous Kiva Fellow working at Cooperativa San José, wrote an interesting blog entry on the consequences of this activity for the people living and working in the affected areas.

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