Stories tagged with Guatemala

Jul 7, 2015 GT Guatemala
Throughout my Kiva fellowship, I have met with a number of borrowers and have personally witnessed the impact that micro-loans have had in their lives whether it be growing their business, providing for their family, learning how to save money, or giving a borrower an opportunity they wouldn’t have otherwise. As with many of Kiva’s field partners, the impact is not only offering a source of economical development, but the complimentary services provided to the borrowers. FAPE (Foundation for the Assistance of Small Business) is one of these field partners.

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Jul 7, 2015 GT Guatemala
One of my favorite activities as a Kiva Fellow is meeting with borrowers. And, the borrowers are usually happy to have a visitor and proud to show their business. Recently, I had the privilege of meeting borrower Dianira, who makes cheese daily. With her loan, Dianira was able to purchase more milk because her business is growing by word of mouth. Three times per week she purchases 50 liters of milk and one bucket of whey. With each 50 liters of milk, Dianira is able to make approximately 26 pounds of cheese  – the most popular being mozzarella and pita.

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Jul 7, 2015 GT Guatemala
Mari Cruz is an energetic, friendly, and dynamic 41-year-old woman. About fifteen years ago, she decided to open her own restaurant and took out her first loan to purchase tables and chairs. One year later, Mari Cruz started her own tortillería – a tortilla bakery. Tortillas are served with every meal in Guatemala, so it was better for her restaurant when she had freshly made tortilla from her tortiller... Continue Reading >>
Feb 2, 2015 GT Guatemala
I have had the opportunity to visit 4 women entrepreneurs of Fundación Namaste Guatemaya to see in practice how our field partner helps make Guatemalan women entrepreneurs be successful in their business. The women I visited are part of the Namaste Business Development Program. Namaste does not only disburse the loan but also provides education and mentorship during the nine month loan cycle. A personal business advisor visits the borrower every month to give advice on how to improve their business and hold track of their income and expenses. They ask about family situation, health, and any... Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2013 GT Guatemala
Buenos dias a todos mis amigos. If you are like I was 75 days ago, you know very little about Guatemala. I'm not afraid to admit that I knew very little before my Fellowship - which both excited and horrified me. When I first learned that I was going to Guatemala I thought cool..wait...WHHHAAAATT?!!? Isn't that really, really dangerous. The short answer to this question is well...there is no short answer. Like many countries in Latin America, Guatemala does have very real problems problems with violence (mostly gang related), drug trafficking and poverty (approximatly 75% live... Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2013 GT Guatemala
What: Festival de Sumpango - Barriletes Gigantes (Giant Kites)
Where: Sumpango, Guatemala
When: November 1st - El Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)
Why? Huge, ginormous, spectacular kites!

As I wrote in Jeff Nelson's excellent piece Potluck Series: Holidays From Around the World, Sumpango, Guatemala celebrates "The Day of the Dead" in a truly unique fashion. Aside from honoring loved ones who have passed away by visiting the cemetary and decorating their graves, the people of Sumpango celebrate by constructing, displaying and (sometimes) flying... Continue Reading >>
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.

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Jun 6, 2013 GT Guatemala
Swords to Plowshares: Is Micro-finance the proper tool for post-conflict zones?
"To the western eye, this oversized hybrid shovel/axe may seem peculiar, but in the context of subsistence agriculture in the Highlands of Guatemala, the “azadon” or farming hoe is exactly the proper tool. Is micro-finance the proper tool to cultivate social and financial capital a post-conflict context?"

The following blog post will discuss why micro-finance is distinctly qualified... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2013 AZ Azerbaijan, CL Chile, GT Guatemala, KE Kenya, RW Rwanda
Kiva works with over 193 Field Partners in 68 different countries. As Kiva Fellows, we have the privilege of working directly with these partners in their offices.  You can bet that the definition of "office" ranges pretty wildly across the globe, from cubicle hell to patios with mountain views.  We wanted to open the door (no pun intended) to our offices  and work lives to show you what they are like--the good, the bad, and the "that's interesting".

Why... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2013 GT Guatemala, NI Nicaragua

This blog post was co-authored by Jeff Nelson, KF20 Guatemala and Matt Bastone, KF20 Nicaragua.  We recently met-up on Jeff’s home turf in Guatemala to witness one of the most important religious holidays throughout all of Latin America: Semana Santa.  We were inspired to write this post because, well, it was an amazing experience and an important tradition in many people’s lives.

Photo taken in the Guatemalan town of Santa Catarina Palopó, which is situated on Lake Atitl...
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