Gustavo Visalli

Fellows Blog Posts by Gustavo Visalli

Mar 11, 2011 GT Guatemala

by Gustavo Visalli, KF14

A loan officer (center) meets with her clients

One key challenge to spreading microcredit in rural Guatemalan communities is actually finding entrepreneurs who are looking for a loan. In the rural highlands borrowers are not exactly surfing Google in their search for a way to expand their businesses. This makes monthly promotions crucial to finding new clients and keeping the Microfinance Institution (MFI) afloat. (It has also proved...

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Feb 25, 2011 GT Guatemala

by Gustavo Visalli, KF14, Guatemala

Commutes are a part of life. In college I lived in a town with more bikes than people, so I had a relaxing bike ride to class every day. Back home in San Francisco I had the pleasure of reading about my World Series Champion Giants on the train to work. Easy transport increases our range. This allows us to access more resources with little effort (even those of us without cars).

Daily travel is not so simple here in Guatemala. It is a significant barrier for many looking for access to resources such as food markets or...

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Feb 9, 2011 GT Guatemala

By Gustavo Visalli, KF14, Guatemala

“Esto no es Guate, ni Xela. Aquí las calles son seguras. (This is not like Guatemala City, or even Xela. The streets here are safe).”  My wonderful host in the village of Cojxac is reassuring me of the safety of the streets at night. It is my first month as a Kiva Fellow in the region of Totonicapán (aka Toto), Guatemala.  I secretly doubt my host’s words as I nod, since the ominous streets outside seem like the perfect place for a good old fashioned mugging. These prejudicial thoughts first came up as my chicken...

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