Stories tagged with blogsherpa

Oct 10, 2015 PE Peru

Whenever I travel outside Western Europe, the most common reaction is, "Wow, that must be really hard!" as if the developing world were little more than an array of obstacles, challenges, frustrations, and difficulties--unlike the unfettered convenience and ease of everything in the good old USA. 
Yet every time I settle back into the American Dream, I find myself pining for any number of things that were easier or better elsewhere.  But when I describe most foreign countries as "convenient," people look baffled.  So here are some...

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Sep 9, 2015 PS Palestinian Territory
A Kiva Borrower, who found success in selling Arabic Coffee in the streets of Jenin, inspired me to write about the beverage that millions of people wake up to in the AM, to as well as some Ramadan beverages commonly consumed in Palestine! (Video)
Kiva sampling Mohamed's Arabic Coffee

The Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan in Palestine is a highly anticipated, spiritual, and sometimes lazy time of year. Some businesses, anticipating the obligatory 16-hour fasting this year (from... Continue Reading >>
Jan 1, 2014 CO Colombia
I sat still listening to Antonio.  His words carefully descended his hand-written business plan. His dreams on paper.  A sip from sugarcane sweetened, hand-squeezed limonada.  The cool stainless steel cup set next to a dormant orchid, one of the countless pots lining the rim of Antonio's flowering patio.  I shifted my weight on the make-shift hardwood bench to get a better view of the family dog frozen in a sun-soaked, belly-rub slumber. On turning the final page, I... Continue Reading >>
Dec 12, 2013 KG Kyrgyzstan
I was in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for just under two weeks, meeting students who have received 0% interest Kiva loans through Kiva partner AUCA. AUCA is one of the top Universities in Kyrgyzstan, and all the student's I've met are thrilled to be a part of this unique American-style University. AUCA attracts students from all over Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia and from all different backgrounds....
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Nov 11, 2013 SV El Salvador
Buenos dias a todos mis amigos. For the past two weeks I've been working with a tremendous new field partner in San Salvador, El Salvador called CONFRAS. CONFRAS (Confederation of Federations for Agrarian Reform in El Salvador in English) was founded in the 1980's during the El Salvadorean Civil War to further land reform efforts. Since then, it has grown to represent 100+ cooperatives that provide various services to over 4,000 farmers throughtout El Salvador.

One cooperative with whom I've been working directly is ACAF. ACAF provides not only microcredit, but technical... Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2013 GT Guatemala
Buenos dias a todos mis amigos. If you are like I was 75 days ago, you know very little about Guatemala. I'm not afraid to admit that I knew very little before my Fellowship - which both excited and horrified me. When I first learned that I was going to Guatemala I thought cool..wait...WHHHAAAATT?!!? Isn't that really, really dangerous. The short answer to this question is well...there is no short answer. Like many countries in Latin America, Guatemala does have very real problems problems with violence (mostly gang related), drug trafficking and poverty (approximatly 75% live... Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2013 GT Guatemala
What: Festival de Sumpango - Barriletes Gigantes (Giant Kites)
Where: Sumpango, Guatemala
When: November 1st - El Dia de Los Muertos (The Day of the Dead)
Why? Huge, ginormous, spectacular kites!

As I wrote in Jeff Nelson's excellent piece Potluck Series: Holidays From Around the World, Sumpango, Guatemala celebrates "The Day of the Dead" in a truly unique fashion. Aside from honoring loved ones who have passed away by visiting the cemetary and decorating their graves, the people of Sumpango celebrate by constructing, displaying and (sometimes) flying... Continue Reading >>
Nov 11, 2013 GO Global Update, GT Guatemala, IN India, MX Mexico, PE Peru
In "Potluck fashion" the following blog post includes the perspective of 6 different Kiva fellows placed in 4 different continents.  Each fellow bringing something different to the table. Our work with Kiva in microfinance is so rewarding that celebration seems inevitable.  Thus, we thought it worthwhile to share a glimpse into recent holidays that we have witnessed around the world. ... Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 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,...

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Aug 8, 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);... Continue Reading >>