Stories tagged with Interactuar

May 5, 2011 CO Colombia

By Nick Hamilton, KF13 Haiti and Dominican Republic, KF14 Colombia

This is the final installment of a three-part article on ‘The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field.’ The first concentrated on the pros of microfinance and the second on the cons. This third part will describe what I deem to be the optimum conditions for successful microfinance.

The cons described in Part 2 of this article may come across as quite negative, but at Interactuar (in Antioquia, Colombia – my second Kiva Fellowship) I saw many being...

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May 5, 2011 CO Colombia

By Nick Hamilton, KF13 Haiti and Dominican Republic, KF14 Colombia

This is the second of a three-part article on ‘The Pros and Cons of Microfinance – A View From The Field’. The first part concentrated on the pros. The second will focus on the cons.

Most of the cons described below demonstrate one thing; microfinance assists on a micro level but is unable to affect macro-level influences. The latter are the main reason that people are impoverished in the first place.

During my time in Haiti and the Dominican Republic I generally found...

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May 5, 2011 CO Colombia

By Nick Hamilton, KF13 Haiti and Dominican Republic, KF14 Colombia

I have now come to the end of my second placement as a Kiva Fellow. I have seen microfinance at work in two organisations – Interactuar and Esperanza International – in three different countries; Colombia, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic. My 6-month stint has been an eye-opener. It’s been fun and interesting, challenging and frustrating.

I embarked on this journey knowing very little about microfinance. I had a notion of the supposed pros and cons of this exciting, largely...

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May 5, 2011 CO Colombia

By Nick Hamilton, KF14

I have just come to the end of a 3-month Kiva Fellowship with Interactuar, Kiva’s Field Partner in the state of Antioquia, Colombia. I was blown away by this organisation. ‘The Google of Microfinance Institutions,’ I kept thinking to myself. 

Before coming to Colombia I had a firm belief that microloans alone weren’t enough, and that support services such as...

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Mar 3, 2011 CO Colombia

By Nick Hamilton, KF14, Colombia

I have been a big coffee drinker for some time now. As a do-it-all teenager with a large appetite for anything nocturnal, it was the powerful affects of the highly-caffeinated, instant variety that initially got me hooked. That all changed at university, however, when I first discovered the soothing delights of real, natural coffee.

After graduating from university I moved to London. Here, my relationship with coffee continued to blossom. Cafeterias across the capital competed for taste, texture and presentation, and they also...

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Mar 3, 2011 CO Colombia

Forty days before Easter marks a grand occasion in many countries across the world – Carnival. We’re composing this blog during a couple of hours of well-needed downtime from the second largest of them all: Barranquilla, Colombia.

Outside of Carnival season Barranquilla is a relatively ordinary city which doesn’t tend to  attract the throngs of tourists that flock to its beautiful coastal neighbours such as Cartagena and Santa Marta. However, for one long weekend of the year there is no more popular tourist attraction than Barranquilla. Hotels are booked out months in advance...

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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 CO Colombia

by Nick Hamilton, KF14, Colombia

When it comes to blogging, a new pastime of mine, I often go a bit heavy on the word count. Not this time. This is a video blog and so I’ll let the video do the talking.

I made this short film over a few weeks during my time serving as a Kiva Fellow at Esperanza International in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

My intention was to give viewers a good idea of some of the things a Kiva Fellow gets up to. I also wanted to produce something that would encourage prospective Fellows to apply. I hope I’ve achieved...

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Dec 12, 2010 CO Colombia

This winter is said to be the worst in the last 60 years in Colombia. In the 45 days since I arrived in Medellín, roughly three have not included a rainstorm. I’ve just come to accept the fact that most days I will get stuck in a torrential downpour, and that my umbrella will be rendered useless. The locals like to remind me that while I have been dealing with the rain for only a few weeks, this has been their reality for months, and there is no end in sight. Official weather reports estimate that the rain will continue through March.

Around the country, Colombians are...

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Dec 12, 2010 CO Colombia

Interactuar is, without a doubt, one of the most inspiring microfinance institutions (MFIs) I have come across to date in my work with Kiva. More than just a credit institution, Interactuar, which is located in Medellin, Colombia, believes wholeheartedly in the power of microfinance when combined with additional programs, such as client education and consulting services. Two of these entrepreneurship development services strike me as particularly unique and merit elaboration: the design center and the nutrition laboratory.

The design center is aimed at...

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