Jul 28, 2015 GO Global Update, IN India, US United States

The Best Beer in Bangalore! One man’s journey of struggle and redemption… “I Miss Beer!” This was the realization and startling conclusion that I came to a few weeks after moving from Philadelphia to Bangalore to work with Micrograam, Kiva’s field partner. Having lived in the U.S. for my entire adult life, I never appreciated how easy it was to walk into a bar or deli and pick from a wide selection of craft brews from around the world. In Bangalore, however, the choices are much more limiting: choose between global brands such as Heineken and Corona subject to a “value-... Continue Reading >>


Jul 23, 2015 GT Guatemala

Throughout my Kiva fellowship, I have met with a number of borrowers and have personally witnessed the impact that micro-loans have had in their lives whether it be growing their business, providing for their family, learning how to save money, or giving a borrower an opportunity they wouldn’t have otherwise. As with many of Kiva’s field partners, the impact is not only offering a source of economical development, but the complimentary services provided to the borrowers. FAPE (Foundation for the Assistance of Small Business) is one of these field partners.... Continue Reading >>


Jul 21, 2015 GO Global Update

The smell of melting butter and baking dough wafts through the town of Tetela, a small community nestled among the sugarcane fields in Oaxaca, Mexico. Two neighborhood boys, one clutching a basketball and one walking a rusty bicycle, amble up to Miguel and Irma’s front gate, pressing their noses in the spaces between the metal. ¨Ya tienen pasteles?¨ one of them shouts excitedly. Are your pastries ready? Irma emerges from the kitchen covered in flour. She claps her hands against her apron, sending a cloud of white particles flying. ¨In about a half hour,¨ she tells the boys, who nod and... Continue Reading >>


Jul 20, 2015 GT Guatemala

One of my favorite activities as a Kiva Fellow is meeting with borrowers. And, the borrowers are usually happy to have a visitor and proud to show their business. Recently, I had the privilege of meeting borrower Dianira, who makes cheese daily. With her loan, Dianira was able to purchase more milk because her business is growing by word of mouth. Three times per week she purchases 50 liters of milk and one bucket of whey. With each 50 liters of milk, Dianira is able to make approximately 26 pounds of cheese  – the most popular being mozzarella and pita.... Continue Reading >>


Jul 16, 2015 AM Armenia

Two years ago, Armen took out a loan of $1,625 for his business and since he has just repaid his final installment last month, I decided to pay him a visit to hear about his experience using Kiva. Armen is a fishmonger in Yerevan where he sells trout and sturgeon from the freshwaters of Armenia’s many beautiful rivers and lakes. Armen is an incredibly hard working man and adds real value to his business by preparing delicious fish dinners for take away. Khorovats is the national dish of Armenia and involves barbecuing fish or meats on skewers, served with potatoes, aubergines and sweet... Continue Reading >>


Jul 15, 2015 CO Colombia

Photocredit Miguel Olaya @flickr
At every major turnpike in Medellin there’s a sign that reads, “Nuestra Nueva Medellin” (our new Medellin), part of a larger national campaign aimed at improving Colombia’s image. Happy-go-lucky posters of smiling families and couples on bike rides with words like ‘sostenible’ or ‘saludable’ adorn subway stations and public plazas. And perhaps they’re paying off, in the last six months alone travel junkies from... Continue Reading >>


Jul 14, 2015 US United States

When I walked into A Tran's Bay Bike Shop, I was greeted by brightly painted signs, plants  and murals. The entire shop was covered in floor-to-ceiling designs, with bright whirls of color and whimsical figures pedaling their way through a beautiful, enchanted world.
Tammy with a few of the new bikes she purchased with her Kiva Zip loan
Welcome to the shop!
Tammy, the owner of A Tran's Bay Bike Shop, is extremely proud of her shop—she... Continue Reading >>


Jul 13, 2015 MX Mexico

María Lucas at home in her embroidery studio in El Valerio.
Hortensia and I trudge up the winding dirt path toward a steep hillside dotted with tiny concrete homes. Clotheslines strung with brightly-colored skirts and shirts bake in the midday Mexican sun. A faded Coca-Cola sign instructs us to ¨¡refrescate ya!¨ for six pesos. Three turkeys strut by, gobbling hello, and a donkey quietly munches on some grass.   At the top of the hill, we reach a three-room house with a tin roof and a washing latrine out... Continue Reading >>


Jul 13, 2015 ML Mali

Safoura is a 46-year-old woman who lives in Dieli, a small village in rural Mali. After losing her husband 12 years ago, she became a single mother of 7 children. She knows life can be challenging.  As a kid, she could only attend primary school. She realizes that this has limited her opportunities a lot. That’s why she does everything within her power to make sure her kids can go to school.   Ever since she was little, Safoura has been buying and reselling groceries, just like her mother did. She buys rice, onions, spaghetti, fruits and grains in bulk, at a market about 50 km away... Continue Reading >>


Jul 10, 2015 GT Guatemala

Mari Cruz is an energetic, friendly, and dynamic 41-year-old woman. About fifteen years ago, she decided to open her own restaurant and took out her first loan to purchase tables and chairs. One year later, Mari Cruz started her own tortillería – a tortilla bakery. Tortillas are served with every meal in Guatemala, so it was better for her restaurant when she had freshly made tortilla from her tortillería. Mari Cruz has continued to take out Kiva loans to grow and improve her businesses. Through her loans, Mari Cruz now has running water (she used to have to carry buckets of water to her... Continue Reading >>


Pages