Fellows Blog Posts by john.beckwith.farmer

Jul 9, 2011 SV El Salvador

By John Farmer, KF 15, El Salvador co-author: Pily Reyes

An intense trip thought the rural mountains of eastern El Salvador made us think about the importance of family unity through the clay and string and flour that intertwine these 4 stories.

The importance of this image became more obvious as the day unfolded

The day began with a visit to a cave which has prehistoric drawings that date back thousands of years. Our attention was drawn to several of the figures...

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Jul 3, 2011 SV El Salvador

By John Farmer, KF 15, El Salvador

Walking in San Salvador is the stuff nightmares are made of, but not for the reasons you might think.

You have probably heard about the dangers of walking the streets in big cities in Latin America: you’ll be pick-pocketed, purse-snatched, robbed at gunpoint, sequestered, murdered… Those are real threats, but I’d like to discuss a few others that don’t get as much headline space. Here is my list of Less-known Dangers of Walking the Streets of San Salvador.

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May 4, 2011 MX Mexico

By John Farmer, KF 14, Mexico

Kids enjoying their day in Morelos, Mexico

Mexico decided back in 1924 that The Day of the Child would take place in April, long before the rest of the world decided to celebrate it in November. On April 30th I was in the state of Morelos, and went out into the streets to participate in the food and fun even though I long ago ceased being a child. A couple of women saw me without much food and insisted I get more. Such is the generosity in...

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Apr 19, 2011 MX Mexico

John Farmer, KF14, Mexico City

Gentle Subway Traffic

So this morning I get on the northbound subway leaving Ermita, heading to Chabacano. This is the Blue Line, heading from middle-class southern part of town toward the bustling center of Mexico City.  There’s one seat, but the people around it are sort of spilling into it, so I stand.

Less than a minute into my ride, it starts — the beggars and vendors. The show can be pretty...

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Apr 5, 2011 MX Mexico

Chapultepec Park in Mexico City on a Sunday afternoon

By John Farmer, KF 14, Mexico

I recently suggested to some friends that we go for a walk in Chapultepec Park on a Sunday afternoon. They didn’t like the idea, because that’s where the poor people go on the weekends.

“The poor?” I responded. I’ve spent quite a bit of time in parts of Latin America where you can identify the poor easily. The children are malnourished and grubby and...

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Mar 14, 2011 MX Mexico

By John Farmer, KF 14, Mexico

The entrance to Doña Mari's restaurant and corn mill.

Friday, near Jojutla, in the Mexican state of Morelos, I had the pleasure of visiting Doña Mari. “Buenas tardes! Adelante!” she coughed in welcome. My visit was a routine Kiva borrower visit, a chance for me to learn more about our borrowers and further their understanding of Kiva.

Her credit history started ten years ago when her son was sick. Though her...

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Mar 1, 2011 MX Mexico

The class hard at work / Todos trabajando

The Rookie

This past week I was invited to receive the same training a CrediComún loan officer receives: a 45-hour-long marathon of information, from the history of the institution to the organizational structure of the branch offices to the details of the bonuses each role is entitled to. I’m not only a rookie here at CrediComún, but I also don’t have much of a finance background, so I welcomed the opportunity.


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Feb 15, 2011 MX Mexico

What’s up with blog posts? Why do they always have to be about something?  A post should be just like life. You know, nothing happens — you get up, you eat, you go shopping.

I asked myself, “John, what did you do today in Mexico City?”

My reply: “I got up and went to work.”

There’s a post!

You’re still with me? Impressive! Then on to the details, or rather, the non-details, of a day in the life of a regular everyday normal Kiva Fellow.

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