Born in Bogotá, Colombia and adopted from an orphanage at a young age, Benjamin considers himself to be very fortunate for the opportunities and blessings that life has presented to him. While pursuing his Masters in Public Administration & Policy, he worked on a research project that analyzed the stark disparities of interest rates amongst different microfinance institutions worldwide. Intrigued by microfinance as a poverty reduction strategy, Benjamin then traveled to the Dominican Republic for three months where he observed microlending and the entrepreneurial trajectories that clients engaged in within their communities. Benjamin interned with the United Nations Development Programme where he worked on the Gender and Economic Policy Management Initiative and gained valuable insight into how to integrate gender equality and economic analysis. He also served as a Fellow for SUNY Center for International Development where he conducted research regarding Constituency Development Funds in Latin America and analyzed their methods of implementation and the governmental regulations utilized to enforce accountability. His travels throughout Central and South America have solidified his passion for Latin America and its emerging social entrepreneurship market. He is thus thrilled to be given the opportunity to travel to Mexico to strengthen Kiva’s mission.

Fellows Blog Posts by Ben Brennan

Dec 24, 2013 MX Mexico

R.E.M once sang about “Losing My Religion”.  I was told that when someone uses this expression, it means that they’re going “loco”.  Oftentimes, religions that are practiced can bring a sense of serenity to an individual that carnal desires cannot.  People sacrifice their bodies, their vices, and even their dreams for a spot in the afterlife.  Or, perhaps to save souls from being condemned to a fate unbeknownst to even the most pessimistic fatalists.   Here in Mexico, I can assure you that nobody is losing his or her religion, figuratively or literally.  The... Continue Reading >>

Nov 13, 2013 MX Mexico

There are very few things I look forward to in the morning.  Particularly here in Huatusco, Mexico I am not very fond of the ENORMOUS rooster next door that bellows 5am morning sermons to all the sinners (me) who dares to sleep in late.  I also don’t look forward to having to uncover myself from my soft, warm and protective blankets that shield me from the cold, bitter mornings.  However, the light at the end of the tunnel for me is knowing that my favorite meal of the day is breakfast, which is usually accompanied by a black cup of coffee.     After... Continue Reading >>

Oct 17, 2013 MX Mexico

We all work hard.  We all put in time into something we are passionate about.  Or, we exhaust all our efforts into something we believe will make a difference.  Studying for tests.  Crunching numbers in the office.   Life is work.  Work is life.  Throughout my entire life I’ve been fortunate enough to meet extremely hard working individuals that have inspired me to not only work hard (my father) but follow your heart (my mother) despite any setbacks you may face (my sister).   However, in only a few weeks into my Fellowship I encountered a person,... Continue Reading >>

Sep 24, 2013 MX Mexico

FIRST DAY The first day can mark a unique moment, good or bad, in people's lives.  The first day of school.  The first day as a parent or newly wed couple.  The first day of opening a new business.  Although it does not dictate the rest of the experience, the first day commands a space in the brain that will remain permanent.  Heck, I'm still having night sweats of my first day at a new school when I was younger.  They are the beginning to an experience that knows no bounds and constructs a path unbeknownst to the agent of change.... Continue Reading >>