Dec 17, 2015 RW Rwanda

Traveling is a feast for the mind, eyes, soul, and most of all, stomach. This is a post about what has kept my stomach happy in the last 3 months in East Africa; I’d like to share five East African foods that I’ve enjoyed. 1. Let’s start with the ubiquitous staple dish, the star player in almost every local restaurant – a heaping plate of various starches/carbs with a side of one or two pieces of meat if you want to treat yourself. This is a dish intended for the working man, strangely devoid of the abundant vegetables found in markets, its' primary... Continue Reading >>


Dec 16, 2015 EC Ecuador

The conventional definition of "Kiva magic" is when a borrower sees a printout of their Kiva profile and realizes, ecstatically, that they're involved in much more than an ordinary loan: dozens of strangers on the other side of the world have pledged them money on the strength of their photo and bio.  It's wonderful when this happens, and it makes inspiring photos and videos.  Yet in the course of visiting more than 25 borrowers, I've only witnessed this once.  In Peru and Ecuador at least, most borrowers are more overcome with bewilderment than joy.  In some sense this is... Continue Reading >>


Dec 15, 2015 PR Puerto Rico

Entering my last week as a Kiva Fellow in Puerto Rico, I want to share some insights as to what my experience has been like. What surprised me the most is the number of amazing people I’ve met since I arrived, and the friendships built these past few months. I came here with no expectations, only with the desire to spend my time in a project that would contribute to another person’s dreams. I can’t thank enough to Denisse Rodríguez, Kiva Fellow in Puerto Rico, for welcoming me so open heartedly. More than a colleague, I found a friend from whom I’ve learned a lot both personally and... Continue Reading >>


Dec 11, 2015 PR Puerto Rico

I’m from Costa Rica, a Spanish-speaking country, so I didn’t expect to have many language barriers during my time in Puerto Rico, but I was wrong. So, for anyone coming to Puerto Rico, this is my top 10 list of favorite Puerto Rican words and their meanings. If you know other words that should be on the list, please leave a comment. A special thanks to the “corillo” of Foundation for Puerto Rico for teaching me most, if not all, of these words.
  • Jangueo: going out with your friends. You might’ve guessed it already, but it comes from the English “to hang out”. There is also a verb form...
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    Dec 8, 2015 US United States

    Lazy Eight Stock Farm in Paint Lick, KY
    As a newcomer to Kentucky, I’ve tried to head dive into the Louisville world as quickly, and with as much splash, as possible. Being the friendly place it is, Louisville dealt me a good hand right off the bat: two days before I moved here, a family invited me to live with them and, two days after, I ran into a college classmate that had been in my specific concentration. I immediately had an awesome friend and surrogate family. I thought I received some incredible...
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    Dec 4, 2015 US United States

    Luke, owner of Groce Family Farm
    In November 2014, Kiva City Louisville launched with an event at Honest Home, borrower Sandra's beautiful sustainable home supplies store, that was attended by Mayor Greg Fischer and other supporters of innovative approaches to economic development. In November 2015, we funded our 50th local loan, bringing the grand total of Kiva’s impact in this community to date to $273,825. Not one dollar went to tobacco, because our new cash crops are ingenuity... Continue Reading >>


    Dec 3, 2015 EC Ecuador

    Nestled in the northern city of Ibarra, a new Kiva partner, CACMU (Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Mujeres Unidas), offers an impressive line of products to the community. The result of 3 organizations coming together 14 years ago, CACMU now offers financial services all over northern Ecuador. I recently joined CACMU in Ibarra, and have witnessed firsthand their dedication to their social mission. To reach clients in impoverished, rural communities, they created a “servimovil” roving branch office, which visits a different town each day. For borrowers who have poor credit, they offer micro-... Continue Reading >>


    Dec 2, 2015 KE Kenya

    In his first trip to the African continent, Pope Francis began his three-country tour in Nairobi, Kenya, which drew hundreds of thousands of adherents to the country’s capital. In his brief three-day stay in the country, Francis focused on the most marginalized in society, culminating in a trip to Kangemi, one of the 11 slums found throughout Nairobi.  
    A market place in the informal settlement of Mukuru kwa Njenga
                  In his visit to Kangemi,... Continue Reading >>


    Nov 29, 2015 EC Ecuador

    San José de Chimbo, my Ecuador Mountain Home
    The sun comes on strong.  At 6:30, when my alarm sounds, it's still pale and grey outside, but by 7:30, when I get out of the shower, I have to draw the drapes lest my little third-floor hotel room overheat.  The heavy yellow fabric turns the room golden while I dress.  Dance music fills the building as the receptionist begins cleaning.  I leave my key, bid her good day, and walk downstairs to the street, past the taxi drivers' union and the mysterious "... Continue Reading >>


    Nov 25, 2015 NI Nicaragua

    It's a decidedly scorching afternoon in the small pastoral community of Puerto Momotombo, located approximately an hour outside of Leon, Nicaragua's university capital. As part of my Kiva fellowship, I've been traversing the country visiting borrowers and observing firsthand the impact their Kiva loan has had on their lives and livelihoods. In Momotombo I'm meeting with Ana Belkys, one of several Kiva borrowers who have taken out a loan from Kiva field partner MiCredito to fund higher education expenses through its loan product, MiCreditEstudios. 
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