Stories tagged with Kiva Field Partners

Oct 10, 2010 CR Costa Rica

By Gabriel Francis, Kiva Fellow class 12 in Costa Rica

When asked what they think of Costa Rica most people usually refer to the poster in their local travel agency, white palm beaches, virgin cloud forests, and toucans. Yet, there is a side of Costa Rica that the tour packages pouring out of San Jose regrettably fail to recount. The truth is, while eco-tourism and liberal trade agreements have brought prosperity to some in Costa Rica, many Ticos still live below the poverty line.

Is ignorance bliss? We Kiva Lenders know better.

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Jun 6, 2010 CL Chile

By Kati Mayfield, KF11 Chile

Let’s hear it for everyone who works hard: supporting themselves, supporting their families, and trying to balance their professional and personal lives!

We all know that this balance is nearly impossible to achieve, but the formula becomes especially complicated when you run your own business.

While microfinance very much opens up otherwise inaccessible business opportunities to micro-entrepreneurs and their families, the obligations of running these businesses and repaying loans can be a cause of great strain and tension.


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May 5, 2010 SV El Salvador

An introduction to Kiva’s newest field partner in El Salvador.

PADECOMSM Credito has its roots in an organization that filled the public service vacuum that was created during the civil war as the guerrilla uprising pushed out the government forces.

During the twelve year civil war (1980-1992), the guerrilla’s first successful campaign was defeating the army in the state of Morazan, in the eastern part of the country. Morazan was and remains one of the poorest states in El Salvador.  The Salvadorian governments response, supported by USD7 billion from the US during...

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Apr 4, 2010 LB Lebanon

Generally when I escape to the Beirut Corniche to go running, I try to avoid making contact with the young lovers sharing a romantic moment in their parked cars. However, on this particular day I could not help but get involved as I saw a brawny man repeatedly and violently beating the crying veiled woman sitting in his car. She tried to get out. He locked the door. She was hunched next to the window trembling in fear pleading him to stop. He told her to shut up.


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Mar 3, 2010 KE Kenya

Seventeen young, scared faces sit around the board room for the full-day training of new marketers. I had been present the day that this new crop of SMEP employees was being interviewed. They had assembled en masse at our head office; many of them looking like the suit they were wearing had been hastily purchased at one of the local secondhand markets in anticipation of their first job interview.  In fact, they were what I refer to as “babies” the young-ish, newly graduated staffers whose faces more often look up at me when I am conducting trainings at the SMEP branch offices all over...

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Mar 3, 2010 KE Kenya

This is a blog that I’ve written in a hurry so as not to let the words swirling in my head escape my fingers on the page. In my tenure at SMEP, I’ve never attended the weekly devotional, held every Monday morning from 8-10 in the morning. I always thought of myself as a secularist, and I assumed that attending would make me uncomfortable – after all, I come from a place where there is separation of church and everything. I’ve grown up in the deeply religious “bible belt” of the Southern United States, and I just assumed that at SMEP, the devotional...

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Mar 3, 2010 CM Cameroon

By Dennis A. Espinoza, KF10, El Salvador

Imagine you are a mother or a father to both a son and a daughter.
If you only had enough money to send one of your two children to school, which one would you send?

This question was asked to potential microfinance borrowers at a training session led by GHAPE, a microfinance institution (MFI) and Kiva Field Partner based in Bamenda, Cameroon.

The most common answer among the group of 30+ prospective borrowers was my son but I also heard my daughter, the oldest, none and a few others.

The “right” answer was...

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Feb 2, 2010 NI Nicaragua

As I walked into Jose’s home I was greeted by tinkering noises of shoe making. The smell of onions cooking in oil over a fire drifted under my nose. A thin dog maneuvered gracefully between all the legs and commotion as I maneuvered like a tall clumsy English-Irish type bumping my head on various structures and door frames.


I tried as best as I could to fade into the...

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Jan 1, 2010 EC Ecuador

by Josh Wilcox, KF10 Ecuador

Please join me in welcoming the latest Field Partner to the Kiva platform and third in Ecuador, Cooperativa San José!  They are headquartered in the small village of San José de Chimbo and have 5 other branch offices within the Bolivar and Los Ríos provinces.  Located in the heart of the country up in the Andes Mountains, Cooperativa San José offers various types of savings and credit products to its members.

Cooperativa San José will be working with Kiva to administer loans to their ventanillas rurales (group loans in the...

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Dec 12, 2009 NI Nicaragua

By Kelly McKinnon, KF9 Leon, Nicaragua

The question is posed casually, but as all heads in the room turn to await my response, I sense that this is not a simple question. Ummm, I stammer. Rapidly wracking my brain for cultural cues or anecdotes I’ve heard on the importance of soup in Nicaragua. Nothing, I’ve got nothing. So I stall a bit more, Soup? You are asking me if I like soup?

I am sitting at the kitchen table with a coworker and her family. Her grandmother poses the question, her aunt eyes me, and my coworker and her three sisters...

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