Stories tagged with Costa Rica

May 5, 2015 CR Costa Rica
Have you ever wondered what it would be like for a lender to meet a borrower? Or a corporate partner to meet a field partner? I had the honor and privilege of being part of Kiva’s first-ever corporate trip to the field – Hewlett-Packard’s Matter to a Million Field Correspondent Trip. This was a three-day event consisting of visits to corporate partner HP’s Costa Rica office, to field partner Fundación Mujer’s office, and to borrowers’ homes. Throughout this trip, representatives from HP, Kiva, Fundación Mujer, and borrowers were all together - visiting, laughing, sharing stories, and...
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May 5, 2015 CR Costa Rica
María Isabel has lived on her farm for fifteen years. Before that, she lived in the capital, San José. It was a hard life trying to earn a living when she didn’t complete school. But on her farm, María Isabel has been able to thrive.

Cows on the Range

María Isabel owns nine dairy cows and milks them every day. Then, twice a day she makes cheese and sour cream. María Isabel has many clients in her community because her products are fresh and less expensive than the stores in the area. She made sure... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2015 CR Costa Rica
Last Friday, I was invited to the community assembly in La Suiza, Costa Rica. This assembly takes place every two years to vote for the Credit Committee’s Board of Directors. A credit committee is similar to a village bank in that it is responsible for assessing and approving loan requests, disbursing loans to borrowers, collecting loan payments, documenting all credit requests and exchanges, and monitoring borrower progress.
 
When I walked into the community space, the President of the Committee, Doña Ethel called me over to sit next to her. Doña Ethel has been part of the... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2015 CR Costa Rica
Daysi dreams of having her own restaurant. She pictures a comfortable place for families to come, enjoy, and eat. One day, she hopes to make her restaurant her sole source of income. 

Frying Plantain Chips


Daysi lives in an area where the paved streets are now rock, where many of the cement houses are now scrap metal, and where the garbage trucks seem to ignore the community. But within this neighborhood is Daysi’s house with an attached restaurant. On the way to visit Daysi, the loan... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2015 CR Costa Rica
Every second Sunday in March, el Día de Boyero (Day of the Oxcart Driver) is celebrated in San Antonio de Escazú, Costa Rica. It’s a day when the townspeople flood into the streets to honor Costa Rican’s history of using oxcarts to transport crops throughout the country. 

San Antonio de Escazú, Costa Rica


Booths are set up to sell delicious local food and arts and crafts. The main attraction is the parade. It starts with music and young dancers, followed by the boyeros. About 100... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2015 ZW Zimbabwe
They may be continents apart, but Costa Rica and Zimbabwe face some of the same challenges when it comes to life in a rural community. A lack of electricity means no fridges to keep food chilled. Cooking is often done over an open fire inside the home but, increasingly, the severe health risks (particularly to women and children) of the smoky environment are becoming evident. And there’s unlikely, either, to be ready access to running hot water.
 
How to address such challenges forms part of the research activities of the renowned Earth University in...
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Aug 8, 2013 CR Costa Rica, SV El Salvador, GO Global Update, GT Guatemala, HN Honduras
This August, I completed 7 months on the road in Central America with Kiva!  I had once ignorantly assumed homogeneity among Central American countries, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover differences in each city, region, and country that I have visited. From climate, to cuisine, to culture, to colloquialisms, I found myself amazed at the variety and distinctions. 

So, here are 5 lessons learned and my Top Ten Favorites from my time in the Central America.

... Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2013 CR Costa Rica
Every city that I have ever visited has been decorated/defaced with lots of colorful graffiti. In some cities, the graffiti is confined to train tunnels, highway overpasses and other functional places that generally lack any kind of redeeming aesthetic qualities. In others, the graffiti can be seen everywhere, coating fire hydrants, schools and long-abandoned corner grocery stores (among other places).

The common thread in both types of city is that most graffiti, however colorful it may be, either advertises a gang's territory or functions as an artist's signature (or both);... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2013 CR Costa Rica
Going to bars or clubs before they open is always strange: music is loudly thumping, lights are moving festively across walls and floors and bartenders are standing at the ready with bottles open and kegs tapped. All of this is happening while the bar is completely empty, making it an eerie experience that I typically attempt to avoid. But, I was on a mission this night.

The reason that I arrived at this trendy bar so early was to help with the setting up of an event to raise funds for Café Pendiente, an initiative that began here in Costa Rica one month ago. Caf... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2013 CR Costa Rica
I'm a vegetarian. However, there are occasionally times when I relent and consume meat, especially if it's offered and refusal means either going hungry or—worse—being rude. Even this reluctant acceptance of the occasional meaty meal has its limits, though.

I will not eat pork. It's not a religious thing for me, nor is it a question of taste; I think bacon tastes fantastic and is a wondrous smell in the morning, particularly maple-cured smoked bacon, eagerly sizzling in the pan as the coffee brews. This is the smell that mornings are made of, that makes... Continue Reading >>

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