Richard Hansen

Though he is proud of his roots as a native Nevadan, Richard has always had an outward-looking perspective. This has led him all around the world in search of meaning in his own life through discovering and assimilating the outlooks and practices of other cultures. He received a BA in Political Science and Spanish from the University of Nevada and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration from the Monterey Institute of International Studies. His graduate studies have fostered an interest in development that begins at the grassroots, utilizing the assets that are present in every single community, no matter how conventionally "poor" they may be. Kiva represents, to him, the very best of this kind of development thinking and he is excited to do his part to facilitate the accomplishment of Kiva's mission of connecting people to alleviate poverty in Costa Rica!

Fellows Blog Posts by Richard Hansen

Aug 30, 2013 CR Costa Rica, GO Global Update

Journaling. Is it a lost art or a relic of times past that has rightfully disappeared in a world of easy electronic fixes for expression? Journals are deeply private things, they represent ourselves poured out in ink. Our moods can be seen in every penstroke, our thoughts in every malformed word. We don't edit ourselves in journals. Looking back, our writing seems disjointed and without the structure or social awareness that is expected from a polished status update. Journals are the only places, besides our minds, where our true selves live....

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Aug 14, 2013 CR Costa Rica

Every city that I have ever visited has been decorated/defaced with lots of colorful graffiti. In some cities, the graffiti is confined to train tunnels, highway overpasses and other functional places that generally lack any kind of redeeming aesthetic qualities. In others, the graffiti can be seen everywhere, coating fire hydrants, schools and long-abandoned corner grocery stores (among other places). The common thread in both types of city is that most graffiti, however colorful it may be, either advertises a gang's territory or functions as an artist's signature (or both); graffiti with... Continue Reading >>


Jul 22, 2013 CR Costa Rica

Going to bars or clubs before they open is always strange: music is loudly thumping, lights are moving festively across walls and floors and bartenders are standing at the ready with bottles open and kegs tapped. All of this is happening while the bar is completely empty, making it an eerie experience that I typically attempt to avoid. But, I was on a mission this night. The reason that I arrived at this trendy bar so early was to help with the setting up of an event to raise funds for Café Pendiente, an initiative that began here in Costa Rica one month ago. Café... Continue Reading >>


Jul 3, 2013 CR Costa Rica

I'm a vegetarian. However, there are occasionally times when I relent and consume meat, especially if it's offered and refusal means either going hungry or—worse—being rude. Even this reluctant acceptance of the occasional meaty meal has its limits, though. I will not eat pork. It's not a religious thing for me, nor is it a question of taste; I think bacon tastes fantastic and is a wondrous smell in the morning, particularly maple-cured smoked bacon, eagerly sizzling in the pan as the coffee brews. This is the smell that mornings are made of, that makes life worth... Continue Reading >>


Jun 20, 2013 CR Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a land of beautiful beaches and some of the world's most astounding natural wonders. But, more than anything, Costa Rica is a land of coffee. Coffee in the morning, coffee at noon, coffee after lunch and coffee with dinner. Coffee not only powers your average Costa Rican worker through the day, but is also one of the country's biggest economic drivers. So, it is with alarm that I note that I've only been in Costa Rica for a couple of weeks, but almost every Kiva borrower that I've visited talks of nothing else but "la roya," otherwise known as... Continue Reading >>


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