Fellows Blog Posts by gokiva

Jan 30, 2011

By Ellen Willems, KF13, Ecuador

Las week I finished my Kiva Fellowship in Ecuador. During the past three months I traveled throughout the country to work at Kiva’s three Ecuadorian field partners. I believe that now, at the end of my Fellowship, is a good time to refer back to my first blog entry and, using my personal experiences, reflect on some of the topics mentioned there.

These reflections represent only my personal experiences and should by no means be considered anything more than that. I realize that my experiences are based on a relatively short stay in Ecuador and...

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Jan 15, 2011 EC Ecuador

By Ellen Willems, KF13, Ecuador

Riding a bus in Guayaquil can be pretty crazy, even scary sometimes. Cars, buses, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians, everybody fights for his place in the street. And on top of that the buses fight for passengers.

The bus drivers don’t own the buses; they pay about $100/day to use them. The driver’s income depends on the number of passengers he picks up, so when two buses of the same line meet, the race is on and the already pretty crazy bus ride turns into a scary roller coaster ride.

Every second counts. To safe time the driver...

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Dec 28, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Ellen Willems, KF13, Ecuador.

Ecuador has only two seasons: summer or dry season and winter or wet season. Right now it is winter and it rains almost every day. For the loan officers at Cooperativa San José this rain equals mud and a lot of it. To meet the poorest and most remote borrowers these loan officers spend many challenging hours on their motorcycles navigating bad roads, and, on rainy days, getting wet and covered in mud.

They do this to meet with the members of the “Ventanillas Rurales” (Village Banks). This is a special loan product Cooperativa San José offers...

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Dec 20, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Ellen Willems, KF13, Ecuador

On November 22nd the Tungurahua volcano, located in the central mountains of Ecuador, started to expel ashes and on December 4th a major eruption forced the farmers living in the area to leave. The Tungurahua volcano (Tungurahua meaning “throat of fire” in Quichua) has been active since 1999. Aurélie Dagneaux, a previous Kiva Fellow working at Cooperativa San José, wrote an interesting blog entry on the consequences of this activity for the people living and working in the affected areas.

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Nov 27, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Ellen Willems, KF13, Ecuador

Ecuadorians who dare going out onto the public streets this Sunday November 28th or who risk drinking alcoholic beverages between Saturday 27th and Monday 29th face sanctions ranging from two to four days in prison or fines from $7 to $15. 

The reason for these measurements is the 7th Ecuadorian Census conducted by the Ecuadorian Institute for Statistics and Census (INEC) on Sunday November 28th between 7am and 5pm.

On this day more than 360,000 students will visit all the houses of all the Ecuadorians...

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Nov 19, 2010 EC Ecuador

Earlier this year MFTransparency.org, an international non-governmental organization committed to pricing transparency, launched its Transparent Pricing Initiative in Latin America.  The data collected in Ecuador will be presented during a conference in Quito on November 30th.

Awaiting this event, let us look at the laws and regulations currently in effect in Ecuador.  Compared to other countries in the region, Ecuador’s Central Bank developed a strong regulatory framework concerning microfinance policies and pricing (source):

  • Financial institutions can only...
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