Born in Indiana and raised in Upstate New York, Gareth was addicted to basketball and dreamed of growing up to become a famous actor. All that changed when he went away to college and found his passion for business and the stock market. He changed his major from liberal arts to a double major in Finance and Economics, started the Entrepreneur's Club, tended bar three nights a week and joined a start-up college textbook company that rivaled the on-campus store. After graduation, Gareth took on the role of Marketing Director with the textbook business and helped expand the dorm room start-up into a multi-million dollar online textbook marketplace with stores in New York, Utah and California. Six years later, he found himself working non-stop for someone else’s dream and for an organization that he was not passionate about. In 2009, Gareth uprooted everything comfortable in his life and bought a one-way ticket to Buenos Aires, Argentina on a quest to submerge himself in a foreign culture and push personal limitations. Since then, he has lived in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia, building relationships, learning Spanish and adapting to his surrounding while moonlighting as a marketing consultant.

Fellows Blog Posts by garethleonard

Jan 16, 2013 GT Guatemala

Here is a peek into my daily routine as a Kiva Fellow in Sololá, Guatemala. My schedule usually goes something like this…

8:00AM – Wake-Up

8:15AM – Emails, Updates and Writing for my travel blog

8:45AM – Arrive at ADICLA Office in Sololá, Guatemala

9:00AM – Plan our day of borrower...

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Dec 17, 2012 GT Guatemala

The “End of the World” is coming this Friday and I couldn’t be more excited about it!

Living in the heart of the Mayan Empire has given me the opportunity to get to the bottom of all the “End of the World” rumors that I’m sure you’ve all heard about by now.

It has been said that the Mayans predicted the world’s demise to be scheduled for December 21, 2012, and just like any international apocalypse talk, marketing schemes and business ploys followed soon after.

I wanted to see if I...

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Nov 14, 2012 GT Guatemala

Building relationship for a better Fellowship at the offices of ADICLA in Sololá, Guatemala

As in life, the key to a happy, healthy and productive Kiva Fellowship is largely based on the relationships you form with those around you. The difference with this experience however, is that you don’t have the opportunity to spend years earning trust, respect and admiration from your peers. You must find a way to infiltrate the hearts and minds of your colleagues and clients in a...

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Oct 22, 2012 GT Guatemala

Hiking up a terrace farm to meet with a borrower (right before the rain falls)

Guard dogs, long hikes and broken-down motos are just a few of the obstacles we face on our hunt to track down new Kiva borrowers.

Along with my trustee co-pilot/loan officer/BFF, Juan Carlos, we’ve managed to catch up with 28 new borrowers this month, and the quest to do-so has been nothing short of an adventure.

In the majority of cases, we’re given a hand-drawn map at...

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Oct 3, 2012 GT Guatemala

Isn’t she lovely! The view of Sololá, Guatemala

We’re only two weeks into dating and she’s already shown me enough to get my heart racing and palms sweating in anticipation. She’s humble and traditional, yet her raw beauty seduces me at every curve.

Working with a new and ambitious field partner has given me the opportunity to see a few different sides to her already. I’ve visited eleven borrowers in two distinct...

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