The moment we step under the palm thatched roof, it starts to drizzle. “You brought the rain!” jokes Mariluz, the borrower I have come to visit. Her home, in the northeastern corner of Bolivia, is a simple, 2-room set up, with the thatched roof covering the area that fronts it. This is where she works and where 2 of her youngest play in a hammock, a parrot sometimes joining them. Around us is lush greenery, thanks to a long rainy season and,...Continue Reading >>
Stories tagged with Bolivia
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Bolivia is one of the poorest countries in the world, and like... Continue Reading >>
Any Kiva Fellow will tell you that visiting Kiva borrowers is one of the most satisfying parts of our experience. This is our moment to go beyond the borrower photographs and short biographies on the Kiva website. We greet borrowers by shaking hands and kissing cheeks, we sit in their homes, we walk through their fields, we touch the garments they sew and taste the baked goods from their ovens, we learn the names of their cows, and we try to make their children smile.
These are moments when we transcend the digital world and our Kiva connections become human.
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“Do you know the real San Severino?” asked the inebriated man next to me on the bus back to Cochabamba. “The real San Severino!”
I wasn’t too sure exactly what he meant; the real San Severino died over 1500 years ago. “Well, um, I know he was a saint, from Europe I think, who brings the rains…” I stumbled but tried my best to answer him.
“Bah! No one knows the real San Severino!” he blustered.
After a moment the question came again: “Do you know...Continue Reading >>
Agriculture has long been the anchor for the people of land-locked Bolivia. As a testament to the region’s horticultural richness, the number of foods originating here is impressive: potatoes, chili peppers, peanuts, pineapple, kidney beans, manioc, quinoa… foods we all know and should love.
And nowhere else in Bolivia is farming as vital as in the Central...Continue Reading >>
Luckily I’m here in Bolivia for one of the most important celebrations of the year so I jumped at the chance to witness the Todos Santos holiday up close and personal. My previous knowledge was limited to piecemeal notions imported from Mexico, but here in Bolivia this special celebration takes on its own particular traditions dating back centuries and is deeply rooted in Andean cosmology.
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In the past month, I’ve worn my soles thin pounding the pavement visiting Kiva borrowers in the major cities of La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. I’ve come to love and trust the Kiva microfinance institutions (MFI’s) I’m working with here and would recommend them hands down to any prospective borrower out there.
Yet everywhere I go I can’t help but notice the seemingly endless storefront banners offering cheap credit, personal loans, instant money advances. In large cities and small towns I see consumer banks, community cooperatives, microcredit institutions, pawn brokers...Continue Reading >>
By Peter Soley, KF19, Bolivia
The Tilted Life in Lofty La Paz
Landing at the La Paz International Airport in El Alto leaves one breathless; the thin air is immediately manifest. At nearly 13,000 feet (4000 m), La Paz is the highest capital city in the world. The lower-altitude Sucre remains the official capital, but La Paz is the de facto power center in the country housing both the executive and legislative branches of government.
La Paz is blessed with a magnificent setting: the austere altiplano perched far...Continue Reading >>
Through motivating stories, informative videos, intriguing sound bytes and interesting first-hand accounts, this week’s update is quite the smorgasbord of stories from the field. Through accounts of first business loans and stories about successful community banks, Fellows in Georgia and Peru show us the effects of our loans; through sights, sounds and narratives, Fellows in...Continue Reading >>