Today is my last day as a Kiva Fellow working in Guatemala City. I will admit that in recent weeks my mind has been wandering to the luxuries of home: ethnic food, safe and timely public transportation, dishwashers, smog laws, etc… But as always, when leaving a new “home”, I know that I will miss the experiences and friendships that I have been lucky enough to experience while here.

As one of my fellow Kiva Fellows pointed out in an earlier post, we fellows tend to receive credit for the support that all of you lenders are really giving. I wish I could offer you one of the glasses of Coke or Fanta that I’ve been given, perhaps sit you down with a basket of fresh tortillas, bring out a photo album and begin to show you the true gratitude that I was shown by countless Kiva borrowers. Earlier this week I re-visited a client that I had already met a few times. As I was leaving she shouted after me “make sure to tell all your friends at Kiva thank you!” What she meant by “friends” was all of the lenders who had chosen to believe in her.

The field partner that I have spent the past 3 months with is called FAPE, a small MFI with over 25 years in the industry. In addition to their core business of providing small loans to women from mostly rural area, FAPE stays true to their deep social mission of improving the lives of Guatemalans – specifically those with little or no access to financial services.

 

FAPE Staff - When else will I be taller than most of my co-workers?!?

FAPE Staff - When else will I be taller than most of my co-workers?!?

 

One of the pilot projects they have begun is a training course delivered to women at the Santa Teresa Women’s Prison. While the project is only one very small piece of the incredible work that FAPE does, I thought it would be interesting to share one of the stories that was shared with me. Here is a short video of a Kiva borrower who lives is a prison in Guatemala City:

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In The Field

In The Field

 

 

Andrea Bouch just finished her first placement in Guatemala. She will be returning home to San Francisco (tomorrow!!!) where she will continue working as a Kiva Fellow.

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