At microfinance institution Asociación Arariwa in Cusco, Peru, and now working with Emprender in La Paz, Bolivia, I have met a ton of animals.  Being an animal lover and from New York where I rarely see live animals walking around (unless the occasional stray cat or rat or cockroach counts), seeing animals as part of my daily life is a pleasure.

Here are several Kiva Fellow animal stories in photos -

Below are stories of Kiva Fellow animal encounters from around the world.  If you enjoyed Kiva’s Animal Kingdom, please consider making a loan to a Kiva entrepreneur who works in agriculture and with animals.

Sheethal Shobowale, KF9, Peru, KF10, Bolivia
Here are some of my favorite animal encounters so far in Peru and Bolivia (see photos above) -

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  • One of Asociacion Arariwa´s group quota (loan payment) meetings in Huayllabamba, a very small, rural town in Peru, took place in the courtyard of one group member´s homes. There were no less than a 75 pound pig, two enormous sheep, a lamb, a rooster and several chickens roaming around during the meeting. I was wondering if they had made their loan payments on time! ;)
  • A majestic llama and alpaca at Huchuy Cusco (Huchuy Qosqo), Incan archeological site in Peru
  • Flocks of ovejas (sheep) blocking traffic at Tipón, Incan archeological site in Peru
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Julie Pachico, KF9, Mexico
Nuevo Laredo isn’t really a prime place for animal sightseeing, with the exception of this photo (not high quality, sorry!) I took of a donkey in the back of a truck. I was REALLY excited to see it because I LOVE donkeys. When I used to work in Tijuana, you always see them in the tourist districts painted as zebras and wearing big sombreros (like here: http://www.deseretnews.com/photos/midres/5763666.jpg). Tourists like to get their pictures taken with them. Anyway, so the “burro” definitely has a place in Mexican culture and imagery.When I took the photo of this guy it was really funny, the guy in the truck saw me with my camera and shouted out “Se vende!” (“It’s for sale!”) as the loan officer and I pulled away. So I guess the livestock-salesman entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and well, even here in ultra-urban Nuevo Laredo… ;)

Donkey in Nuevo Laredo

Donkey in Nuevo Laredo

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Julia Kastner, KF9, Mexico
My only animal pictures are of a loan officer with a borrego, a cross between a goat and a sheep, which clients raise as meat for tacos. I have a blog about them here: http://juliakastnerfellow.com/2009/10/29/baaa-and-other-culinary-adventures/

Loan Officer in Mexico with a Borrega - cross between a goat and a sheep

Loan Officer in Mexico with a Borrega - cross between a goat and a sheep

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Suzy Marinkovich, KF8, KF9, Chile
Here are 2 videos of the monkeys my husband Matt took care of in Bolivia.  Both are of the same capuchin monkey – Liarona. She likes cleaning so in one video she is scrubbing the floor. In the other one, she was in heat, and was hitting on Matt! It’s super funny and cute because she was smiling and “flirting ” with him… I was sooo jealous. Haha

Matt also volunteered at Parque Machia in Villa Tunari (Chapare, Cochabamba, Bolivia) which is pretty much jungle. The refuge houses animals rescued or confiscated from homes. One little monkey, Lolita, was rescued from a market in El Alto where they dressed her in dresses and makeup and beat her to perform. Needless to say she is living a much happier typical monkey life in Parque Machia =)

In Cochabamba, Matt also worked for 2 months with APLEVACC, which is a group of livestock veterinarians that work with CIDRE dairy cow farmer clients. They work with certain dairy cooperatives. Thus, Matt spent more time on our borrowers’ farms than I would have ever been able to. He helped deliver a baby calf on his first day. He also helped in the castration of pigs, and as the farmers are too poor to afford local anesthesia, they had to do it a very basic way (with a rope). While this was quite normal for the farmers and veterinarians, it was definitely a new area of vet medicine for Matt. It really showed us what it means to be financially dependent on your animals, and have to make a choice between their well-being and your child’s. Obviously, when it comes down to it, there is no choice to be made there – so the animal has to be taken care of the best it can be with the least amount of resources available to the veterinarian. Another time, a cow ate a metal nail, and Matt and the vet used magnets and a pvc pipe to coax it out!

In Ayacucho, Peru, Matt volunteered at a local cat/dog vet clinic with the occasional livestock. He did operate on the winning rooster of a cockfight. Obviously that is another ethical predicament for veterinarians in that area – as cockfighting is a deep seeded tradition, and even if you do treat the rooster – the couple may very well use it in another fight.

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Kelly McKinnon, KF9, Nicaragua

An Hípica is a party on horseback, less organized than a parade and more liquor than a trail ride. From what I could gather, a typical Hípica involves decking out horses and riders in the finest tack and Western wear, riding through the city while the horses “dance” with a beautiful footwork that clicks against the pavement, adding percussion to the music being blared through giant speakers or on the floats sponsored by liquor companies. Riders and horses crowd each other while the crowd of on lookers fill in the edges and vendors make their way through whatever space is left selling water and beer and rum and soda, other sell sunglasses and peanuts and candy and quesillo. I was lucky enough to witness one in Leon, Nicaragua. I am told that the hundreds of horses that filled the streets was a small version of the celebrations that more commonly take place in the more agrarian cities of Estelí or Matagalpa. This picture is one of the youngest riders decked out in a gorgeous pink dress, other riders celebrated by dancing on top of their horses, pulling Kiva Fellows up for a ride and having another drink.

This picture is one of the youngest riders decked out in a gorgeous pink dress, other riders celebrated by dancing on top of their horses, pulling Kiva Fellows up for a ride and having another drink.

Hipica_Leon Nicaragua

Adam Kemmis Betty, KF9, Bolivia
A “zebra” directing traffic on the streets of La Paz…

Zebra directing traffic on the streets of La Paz

"Zebra" directing traffic on the streets of La Paz

In their work as Kiva Fellows, Alex Duong, Adam Kemmis Betty, Julie Pachico, Julia Kastner, Suzy Marinkovich, Kelly McKinnon and Sheethal Shobowale have encountered animals around the world .

If you enjoyed Kiva’s Animal Kingdom, please consider making a loan to a Kiva entrepreneur who works in agriculture and with animals.

- Sheethal Shobowale, KF9, Peru and KF10, Bolivia


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