Fellows Blog Posts by dantulchin

Oct 25, 2010 NI Nicaragua

By Dan Tulchin, KF12, Nicaragua

I have always been interested to learn the local perceptions of the United States when living abroad. On a recent night, after jumping in a cab, I spent some quality time with Jauro, a loquacious taxi driver with an opinion on just about everything. For contextual purposes, I must provide some information about the taxi experience in Nicaragua’s capital. Firstly, as in many developing countries, there are no streets or number signs. Directions are all relative to a common park, cemetery, rotunda, mall, you name it. In Managua, al...

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Oct 18, 2010 NI Nicaragua

By Dan Tulchin, KF12, Nicaragua

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Oct 5, 2010 NI Nicaragua

In lieu of a more traditional blog, I thought it would be interesting and potentially helpful to take a stab at answering 5 common questions from friends and family related to Kiva and the broader role of microfinance. While I am, by no means, an authority on microfinance, I hope this sheds some light on Kiva and provides some color on my experiences as a Kiva Fellow.

Is it true that most of the borrowers in Nicaragua and elsewhere are women? If so, what do you think are the reasons for this?

Indeed, 82% of all Kiva loans are directed to women. There are a number...

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Sep 9, 2010 NI Nicaragua

Living in the developed world, we become accustomed to convenient filters that give us what we want, sidestepping some unpleasant truths.  Meat is a delicious hamburger with fixings in a toasty bun, for example, and not the carcass at the neighborhood carnicería with flies swarming around it.  Clean, potable water is just a slight turn of the wrist away while disposing of waste requires tossing garbage bags on the street or pushing down ever so firmly on the toilet lever.  While Nicaragua lacks many of these fundamental filters that make life easier for both the microfinance...

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Aug 18, 2010 NI Nicaragua

What do Miskito, Rama, Garifuna, Spanish, Creole, and English have in common?  Well, nothing really, besides the fact that you can hear all of them within a block in Bluefields, on the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua – a place where international organizations and tourists rarely venture.  While a number of these languages are, in essence, subsets of others, I am hard pressed to come up with another place of such linguistic variety (no, Times Square doesn’t count).  Bluefields is, without question, a sociolinguist’s paradise.

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