Stories tagged with Nicaragua

Nov 11, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Meg Gray, KF9 Nicaragua

It rained all weekend in Managua. It rained because of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Ida, which hit Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast on Thursday. You may have heard about Ida because your saw it on the news or read about it in the paper. Or maybe, like me, you learned about it via an alert from the US Embassy in Nicaragua. In my mind, Embassy Alerts are code for “things to start worrying about if you aren’t already.” Written in a calm, informative tone, the alerts are as alarming as they are pertinent. In my five weeks in Nicaragua, I have received alerts on...

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Nov 11, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Victoria Kabak, KF9, Nicaragua

Before I left for my placement as a Kiva Fellow in Nicaragua, I was browsing my microfinance institution’s web site, trying to see what I could learn from it and to familiarize myself with the organization, AFODENIC, a bit more. I clicked on a link in the left sidebar called “Fuentes de Financiamiento,” or “Sources of Funding.” After the page loaded, I realized that, subconsciously and perhaps naïvely, I had been expecting to see a particular logo we know so well, that comforting, familiar green logo, with its...

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Nov 11, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Kelly McKinnon, KF9 Leon Nicaragua

I fell off the sidewalk tonight. It was bound to happen.

The sidewalks here are raised and tiled and narrow. No extra room is allotted for lamp posts or stoops or two-way traffic, all must exist in no more than four feet dedicated to pedestrian passages.

The rules to walking in Leon are thus: a gentleman passes on the outside, there is plenty of room, and greet passersby with a smile and an “Adiooos.”

My days begin with these passages. Rather, as I, dedicated tom-boy, wobble to work in high...

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Oct 10, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Meg Gray, KF9, Nicaragua

"Rent a telephone here"

Walking around my neighborhood in Managua, Nicaragua made me realize that businesses look very different here. Every couple of houses there is asign in the window- “We sell nacatamales” or “We offer haircuts” or “Rent a Nintendo here”. Usually the sign is hand written, but occasionally it has been neatly typed. I only have to walk a block or two from house to find tortillas, chocolate-covered bananas,...

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Oct 10, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Victoria Kabak, KF9, Nicaragua

In one of our training sessions for the 9th class of Kiva Fellows at the end of September, a staffer told us that we might be living and working during our fellowships in places without street signs–because the streets are unnamed. He described how, in small towns, a direction might be given simply as “past the banana tree” or something similar. He even had a hand-drawn map that he got when he visited one of Kiva’s partners; the microfinance institution had sketched the diagram to indicate the locations of its...

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Oct 10, 2009 NI Nicaragua

by Kelly McKinnon, KF9, Leon, Nicaragua

My attraction to Kiva and to their model of how microfinance fits into development, I’ve realized, has very much to do with their insistence upon the dignity of the individual. Throughout the Kiva Fellows training, through conversations and actions this concept was repeated, emphasized and modeled. I’m wishing I had the presence of mind to recognize that this exact insistence is what drew me here in the first place, wishing I recognized long ago this is what I felt during my summer in Honduras, wishing I had the eloquence to express...

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Oct 10, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Victoria Kabak, KF9, Nicaragua

As some of you may have noticed, this week a notification was placed underneath the borrower profiles on all loans to Nicaraguan borrowers on Kiva.org. It reads, in part:

In mid 2008, a movement began in Nicaragua called “Movimiento No Pago” (a movement for non-payment of loans). This movement, supported mostly by farmers of the north of Nicaragua with ties to the left-wing party in Nicaragua, has been organizing protests (some violent) and forcing microfinance institution branches to close…This group has submitted a law to the...

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Oct 10, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Meg Gray, KF9, Nicaragua

Last Thursday night, while eating a farewell dinner of Chinese take-out, I drew the perfect fortune cookie: “Traveling to the south will bring you unexpected happiness.” Since I was leaving for Nicaragua the next day as a member of KF9, I was happy to have this auspicious omen on my side.

Turns out it was also exactly the reassurance I needed as I arrived in Managua, Nicaragua during a torrential rainstorm on Saturday night. Moments after a very turbulent (and somewhat terrifying) landing, the power went out in the airport and we had to...

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Sep 9, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Kelly McKinnon, KF9, Nicaragua

Hey there, I wanted to take a second to introduce myself. I’m Kelly and I’m headed to Leon, Nicaragua to work with Fundacion Leon 2000. We’re mid-way through our week of training here at Kiva headquarters, I could not be more excited about being a part of this fellows team as well as the greater Kiva Love Machine!

I’ll begin posting as soon as I can and will report all about Fundacion Leon, in the meantime you can begin to get to know the borrowers that I’ll be working with by clicking on this link to...

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Aug 8, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Susan Arthur, KF8 (Kiva Fellow 8th Class) in Nicaragua

This week marks World Breastfeeding Week prompting me to contemplate how microfinance and breastfeeding play important roles in alleviating poverty.

More than 80% of Kiva entrepreneurs are women, many of whom are mothers with home-based businesses where they can easily satisfy their baby’s hunger and provide for their optimal growth by breastfeeding.  Indeed, on a few occasions, Kiva field partners have posted profile photos on Kiva’s site of borrowers nursing their babies.

Could breastfeeding rates...

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