kelseyquam

Fellows Blog Posts by kelseyquam

Sep 20, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Kelsey Quam, KF12 Ecuador

The agricultural work of cacao farmers of the rural loan group ¨Progreso Comunitario¨(¨Community Progress¨) in the subtropical region of Ecuador is not easy. They laugh when asked how they spend their free-time– agriculture is a full time job. Lately, farmers have been griping about pests called “mal de machete” and ¨escoba bruja¨ that have destroyed a large part of the cacao harvest this year. In addition, heavy rains have stripped cacao plants of their red color and have left them black. Members of ¨Progreso Comunitario¨ look to Kiva loans as a...

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Aug 31, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Kelsey Quam, KF12 Ecuador

Since today is the last day of ¨Food Month¨ at Kiva, I´d like to share a recipe for humitas, corn-cheese tamales that are common throughout the highlands of Ecuador. Humitas are often made during the months of the corn harvest (August and September) when corn is abundant. They are often enjoyed in the evenings as a light snack accompanied by a hot cup of coffee.

INGREDIENTS 6 ears of corn 1/2 cup of diced onion 1/4 cup of butter 1 teaspoon baking powder 3 eggs 1 cup of corn flour 8 ounces of mozzarella cheese diced into small...

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Aug 25, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Kelsey Quam, KF12 Ecuador

Last week I traveled with a loan officer to an agricultural community in rural Ecuador. In my pocket was a list of several questions sent from various lenders throughout the world for the borrowers to whom they had made loans. I was testing a new tool created by Jeff Zira (KF7) that seeks to deepen the connections between lenders and borrowers. It’s easy- Kiva Fellows send out a message to lenders a few days before they plan to visit a specific borrower or community. Lenders can then reply with a question or message for the borrower to whom they have...

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Aug 6, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Kelsey Quam, KF12, Ecuador

After attending an exciting week of training in San Francisco, a wave of 37 new Kiva Fellows has been pouring into new places across the globe. The emails we exchange as we transition into the field reflect both excitement and hesitation. What am I forgetting on my packing list? Am I prepared to work in microfinance? How will my MFI receive me?

My first week at Cooperative San Jose in Ecuador was different than my expectations. When I arrived to the office on Monday morning, I didn’t start to work right away. Instead, I was led up and...

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