David Picciao

David was raised in southern California very near to the Mexican border, which allowed him to grow up with an appreciation of multiple cultures and perspectives. Los Angeles is his second home after attending UCLA and working for a stock research company as a consultant. During David’s time at the University of California, Los Angeles, his interest in global affairs, traveling, foreign cultures and international development grew significantly, albeit without clear focus on what to do with that interest. As a consultant, he was able to grow his investing knowledge, become more interested in financial services and innovative technology. David decided to combine his interest in international development and financial services and pursue microfinance. This lead him to diligently study microfinance and volunteer as a Young Ambassador for Opportunity through Opportunity International. David hopes his experience as a Kiva Fellow will be just the beginning of a long career in microfinance.

Fellows Blog Posts by David Picciao

Aug 14, 2014 CO Colombia

 
For the last 57 years Medellin has celebrated los silleteros (pictured above), the men and women who used to carry people and cargo on their backs on chairs, including carrying the sick to doctors. Los silleteros are celebrated at the 10 day Feria de Las Flores (Festival of Flowers), which proved once again that Colombians know how to dance, eat, celebrate their culture and work hard. On any given day of the Festival of Flowers you could find at least 20 events, exhibits or concerts occuring all over the city and surrounding... Continue Reading >>


Jul 30, 2014 CO Colombia

Its been 10 months since I left my previous job in Los Angeles and had the privilege to become a Kiva Fellow.  I began working in beautiful Kenya and am now in colorful Colombia. Though geographically far apart, there are more similarities between the two countries than one might think.  
Some of my fondest memories are from visiting about 20 Kiva borrowers all over Kenya.  While riding countless matatus (public transportation vans) and boda boda (motorcycles), I got a taste of...
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May 12, 2014 KE Kenya

 

3 Must-Know Insights on Kenya, Football and the FIFA World Cup

 

Kenya is not one of the first 10 countries that come to mind when you think of a top class footbball team. It didn't qualify for this year's World Cup in Brazil. In fact, Kenya has never qualified to the FIFA World Cup. Rather, Kenya is well known for its world class rugby sevens squad and elite long distance runners.

Yet, many...

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Apr 2, 2014 KE Kenya

Sidi and I at her produce stall in Malindi!
 
After visiting various Kiva borrowers throughout the lush tea and dense maize fields of western and central Kenya, I now get to work with Milango Financial Services out of the coastal city of Mombasa!  There is a lot to enjoy on the coast.   You do have to adjust to the heat, and be aware of the sometimes tense environment due to assassinations, violent protests and terrorist activity in the area. Thankfully, my...
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Feb 17, 2014 KE Kenya

 
After a two-week roadtrip visiting Kiva borrowers throughout Lake Naivasha in the Rift Valley and western Kenya's rolling tea hills, it's hard to pick one story or moment that stands out the most. But without a doubt one of the highlights was Penina (pictured below) and her bubbly personality, contagious laughter and resilient character. Her Kiva loan helped her not only increase her sales but hire 1 full time employee and 2 seasonal workers. The journey for Penina and her community hasn't always been easy, but they have persevered....
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Nov 19, 2013 KE Kenya

 
KADET, Naivasha Branch: Me, Fridah, Pauline, Mildred, Stellah, Mike, Rose, Alice
I know Thanksgiving is a proper American holiday. Yet, Americans are certainly not the only people who have much to be thankful for.  Like Christina Magro (a fellow Kiva Fellow in Nicaragua)  eloquently highlighted, microfinance officers play a vital role in the Kiva process but their efforts can go undetected by the Kiva community. While setting up a ... Continue Reading >>


Oct 26, 2013 KE Kenya

Smartphones are used by Honey Care's hive technicians to reach remote farmers with their beekeeping services.
Before I became a Kiva Fellow I was only an occassional lender with some dangerous assumptions about Kiva borrowers. These assumptions perpetuated my ignorance of borrower's creativity and business prowess.  More importantly, they limited me from increasing my lending portfolio and thus limiting my impact on people's lives.   It has taken me 2 months in Kenya to appreciate how savvy and creative... Continue Reading >>


Oct 13, 2013 KE Kenya

If you are privileged enough to visit Nairobi, you can decide to approach the city out of fear and simply visit the airport, hotels, and expat bars.The other more rewarding option is to enjoy the vibrancy and rich culture of Nairobi (aka "Silicon Savannah") by using public transportation to navigate the capitol.

Make sure to remember a few things to lower your chances of over-paying, getting lost or getting stressed:

  • Death and taxes....and traffic:...

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Sep 27, 2013 KE Kenya

A Juhudi Kilimo Credit Officer using a tablet on a farm in Kenya's unpaved heartland.
Are tablets a practical solution to rural microfinance operations? This is the big question I am working to answer during my 4 months in beautiful Kenya.  This appears to be a simple question with an obvious answer. However, after traveling over 1000 kilometers in one week throughout urban and rural Kenya, I have learned about the obstacles that will make tabletizing Kiva partners more complicated.  Yet... Continue Reading >>