Fellows Blog Posts by Sarah

Dec 25, 2010 PE Peru

By Sarah Benjamin, KF13, Peru

As I meet with borrowers here in the low-income areas of Lima, I’m constantly surprised by how many “Avon ladies” there are.  Direct sales (for companies like Avon and Tupperware) are booming in developing countries like South Africa, Indonesia, and of course, Peru.  Avon began sales in Peru in 1982, but only in the last ten years have things really taken off.  Women are looking for ways to earn an income while still maintaining a flexible schedule and completing their traditional tasks relating to family and home.

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Dec 12, 2010

I have been in the field with EDAPROSPO for six weeks now, but I just now have completely understood how their “communal bank” system works with group loans.  In Spanish, the term is “communal piggy bank” (alcancía comunal), which I think is more descriptive.  When you see a group of borrowers from EDAPROSPO pictured on the Kiva website, you are actually seeing a self-governed group that has the ability to lend internally among its members.  Let me explain.


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Nov 25, 2010

Today protesters took to the streets of Lima to draw attention to violence against women. Peru has staggering rates of domestic violence:  a report released by the Instituto Nacional de Estadística e Informática said that 38.8% of all Peruvian women have suffered from partner violence.

Image courtesy of CMP Flora Tristan.

Marching through historic downtown Lima, the protesters marked the 12th International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.  The group...

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Nov 11, 2010

A neighborhood in Huaycan.

Lima, Peru is a sprawling megalopolis of nearly nine million people.  Throngs of European and American tourists pass through daily, many of whom are en route to Machu Picchu.  Central and residential Lima, which include the posh tourist districts as well as the middle and upper-middle class neighborhoods, have an estimated population of 2.5 million.  Where, then, do the other six million residents live?  Simple- in the outskirts of the city (where no...

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