Stories tagged with Emprender

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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Oct 10, 2012 BO Bolivia

In the past month, I’ve worn my soles thin pounding the pavement visiting Kiva borrowers in the major cities of La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. I’ve come to love and trust the Kiva microfinance institutions (MFI’s) I’m working with here and would recommend them hands down to any prospective borrower out there.

Yet everywhere I go I can’t help but notice the seemingly endless storefront banners offering cheap credit, personal loans, instant money advances.  In large cities and small towns I see consumer banks, community cooperatives, microcredit institutions, pawn brokers...

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Oct 10, 2012 BO Bolivia

By Peter Soley, KF19, Bolivia

The Tilted Life in Lofty La Paz

Landing at the La Paz International Airport in El Alto leaves one breathless; the thin air is immediately manifest.  At nearly 13,000 feet (4000 m), La Paz is the highest capital city in the world. The lower-altitude Sucre remains the official capital, but La Paz is the de facto power center in the country housing both the executive and legislative branches of government.

La Paz is blessed with a magnificent setting: the austere altiplano perched far...

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Aug 8, 2012 BO Bolivia

On my last post I outlined some of the difficulties of working and living in Bolivia. Marches, protests, and strikes from nearly every sector of the population make it hard for any organization to conduct business here in La Paz and its surrounding areas. Yet there are plenty of Kiva’s partners that manage to do a great job despite any and all local challenges.

Field meeting of the “Costeñitas” group in Senkata, along with loan officer Remedios (...

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Jun 6, 2012 BO Bolivia

By Isabel Balderrama | KF17+18 | Bolivia

When thinking of the wide swath of qualities that make up a Kiva Fellow, one can be certain of the one trait all fellows possess: an unequivocal thirst for exploring unfamiliar territory.

A fellowship assignment presents us with the thrill of being given an opportunity to quench this thirst as it often sends us flying halfway across the world (and sometimes even further), thousands of miles away from our places of birth and comfort zones.

So here I find myself, on my second Kiva fellowship assignment with Kiva Fellows...

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Dec 12, 2011 BO Bolivia

By Eric Rindal – KF 16 – Bolivia

Before I volunteered as a Kiva Fellow in Sierra Leone (May of 2011) and Bolivia (September 2011), I was living in Santa Barbara, California. Imagine: Santa Barbara beaches saturated with color, mansions with the smell of jasmine twisting through the air, and a pace of life only to be set by the sun. While there, I was working for a de jure artist and took up the ranks as a de facto artist myself. Life was pretty easy, and moving to a developing country and working with microfinance seemed a million miles away. Leaving it all made...

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Dec 12, 2011 BO Bolivia

By Eric Rindal – KF16 – Bolivia

Part of my Fellowship here in Bolivia is to complete two Borrower Verifications (BVs) for two Kiva partner microfinance intuitions: Emprender and IMPRO. During the BV, I ask four questions to verify that the borrower is the real borrower, and...

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Oct 10, 2011 BO Bolivia

Eric Rindal – KF16 – La Paz, Bolivia

Another day, another dollar lost as a volunteer. The first part of my second Fellowship has gone by tremendously fast. I only have two more months left of what will be my seven months as a Kiva Fellow. No longer do I feel like a volunteer, this is now my way of life. At this juncture, after leaving Sierra Leone and entering Bolivia, I ask three questions: Why micro loans; Why small business; and Why poverty.

As a Fellow these questions encapsulate most of what I think about. In short, I want to know why things are...

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Sep 9, 2011 BO Bolivia

Eric Rindal – KF16 – Bolivia

After Jeffrey Sachs  started talking about ladders, rungs, and poverty, many wondered if there would be an end to poverty. The way he saw it was that if a developing country could just make it to that first “rung” on the ladder, they would reach the global economy and lift themselves from poverty. He augmented this with “clinical economics,” treating developing countries like patients by offering a unique diagnosis, by properly addressing a country’s need. I am not going to analyze Sachs’ book, rather I will compare the differences...

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May 5, 2011 BO Bolivia

By Nila Uthayakumar, KF14, Uganda, 

With the help of several other Fellows in the field

Borrowers of an MCDT solidarity group meet under the shade of a tree in Kampala, Uganda.

I’ve met all kinds of borrowers. From age 16 to 76; from orphans to a former beauty queen; from potato sellers to auto parts saleswomen to motorcycle transportation tycoons. I’ve met them in urban slums, in villages, in homes, on porches, in...

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