Fellows Blog Posts by Gabe Francis

Oct 21, 2010 CR Costa Rica

By Gabriel Francis, Kiva Fellow class 12 in Costa Rica

When asked what they think of Costa Rica most people usually refer to the poster in their local travel agency, white palm beaches, virgin cloud forests, and toucans. Yet, there is a side of Costa Rica that the tour packages pouring out of San Jose regrettably fail to recount. The truth is, while eco-tourism and liberal trade agreements have brought prosperity to some in Costa Rica, many Ticos still live below the poverty line.

Is ignorance bliss? We Kiva Lenders know better.

... Continue Reading >>

Sep 29, 2010 CR Costa Rica

by Gabriel Francis, Kiva Fellow at FUDECOSUR Costa Rica

Today, coffee lovers across the United States celebrate National Coffee Day. While you enjoy your daily cup you can take joy in knowing that your Kiva loans help support the independent coffee farmers who made it possible.

A coffee farmer proudly shows of his crop funded by a Kiva Loan. 25% of Kiva loans to Costa Rica support independent coffee growers.

There is a good chance the...

Continue Reading >>

Sep 8, 2010 CR Costa Rica

By Gabriel Francis, Kiva Fellow class 12, FUDECOSUR Costa Rica

With few exceptions, wherever you are in the world there is a McDonalds nearby. From Bucharest to Bangladesh every restaurant has some variation of the classic hamburger, the Big Mac.

So what does a hamburger have to do with Micro-Finance?

Big Mac Index, source: The Economist Magazine

More than you might think. Some clever economists at The Economist Group have found the price of the ...

Continue Reading >>

Jul 23, 2010

by Gabriel Francis, Kiva Fellows class 12, FUDECOSUR Costa Rica
Hello from beautiful San Francisco!

The KF12 class take a break from training to visit the Golden Gate bridge.

As member of the upcoming Kiva Fellows class 12 (KF12), I am excited but exhausted. Although Kiva Fellow class 11 is still in the field a new class is already preparing to follow in their steps. Last week myself and the 37 new...

Continue Reading >>