A Shaky but Warm Welcome to Ica, Peru!

By Josh Wilcox, KF9 Peru

Three flights, one bus, and two taxi rides behind me, I arrived safely in the southern Peruvian city of Ica.  Surrounded by a desert and thousands of miles from Monday Night Football with too much luggage and guitar in hand, I was a bit shocked when I found out the hotel I was hoping to temporarily stay at had collapsed in the formidable Peru earthquake in 2007.  Thanks a lot Lonely Planet!


Fortunately I just asked a taxi driver to take me to an affordable hotel he would recommend.  After chatting it up a bit with him in the car and telling him I was going to be working with the microfinance institution Caja Rural here in Ica, he snatched a piece of mail out of his glove box that read “Caja Rural” on the letterhead.  He proceeded to tell me he is a current borrower from Caja Rural and is hoping to purchase a second taxi with his third loan.  He then pulled out a picture of a 1936 Opel that he hopes to use as his second taxi.  I have been a volunteer Kiva translator since February and have seen numerous stories such as his, but I was pleasantly caught off guard to finally hear an amazing story of a Kiva borrower first hand in such an unexpected setting!

Before I forget to introduce myself, my name is Josh Wilcox and I am part of the most recent Kiva Fellows class (KF9) to hit the field across the globe.  I will be helping set up a recently approved new partner in Ica, Peru, officially named Caja Rural Señor de Luren.  They have yet to start Day 1 of their pilot stage so I am in the fortunate position to experience the beginning stages of the Kiva process.

Below is the first chapter of a video diary I hope to maintain throughout the duration of my fellowship.  Enjoy!


Loans to Caja Rural will be available soon, but in the meantime check out our other loans from South America here.


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