Fellows Blog Posts by Brendan

Aug 30, 2008 MX Mexico

I promised a long time ago to write about housing in Nuevo Laredo.

So I will exercise self-control and delay the gratification of writing about my recent outing to a lucha libre pro wrestling extravaganza. I will write instead about how housing gets built here in Nuevo Laredo – more of a sweaty struggle than the lucha libre on any day – and why housing microfinance is important in this process.

Visiting Kiva borrowers and writing journals represents a big part of my work for Kiva at my partner organization, FVP (Fundación para la Vivienda Progresiva, or...

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Aug 14, 2008

The border by foot There are two bridges that cross the river between Nuevo Laredo and Laredo, called Bridge One and Bridge Two. They have other names, if you look at the signs more closely, something like Bridge of Fraternity and Solidarity or International Friendship Bridge. But everyone here seems to refer to them by their numbers. On a recent Friday night I was one of the only people crossing Bridge One on my way to Laredo, passing a line of informal merchants who looked bored and ready to go home. The last of these was an accordion player propped up sleepily against...

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Jul 15, 2008 MX Mexico

Two weeks have passed since I started work at Fundación Para La Vivienda Progresiva, or Foundation for Progressive Housing. I am still very much in absorption mode, so for now I will rely on broad strokes to paint the picture of what FVP is all about.

The organization is located right across the border from the U.S., with offices in the border towns of Nuevo Laredo, Ciudad Acuña, and, soon, Piedras Negras. In short, FVP helps people in the border region to build housing and to start or grow small businesses. Housing is in its title because FVP...

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Jul 2, 2008 MX Mexico

This is my first blog entry. Many Kiva Fellow arrival tales involve foreign airports, sweaty travels across long stretches of rural countryside, and the onset of intercontinental jetlag. In contrast, I am probably the first fellow who arrived at his placement by Greyhound bus.

I write you from Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, across the border from Laredo, Texas. On one of the local radio stations (local to Texas? local to Mexico? Hard to tell, since radio waves don’t obey borders) they refer to them as “Los Dos Laredos” – the two Laredos. If you just...

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