Fellows Blog Posts by joshpwilcox

Feb 9, 2010 EC Ecuador

Josh Wilcox, KF10 Ecuador

Throughout my Fellowship in Peru and now in Ecuador, I have been bestowed the opportunity to launch Kiva partnerships with 2 microfinance organizations and teach loan officers in various communities how to administer loans and interview borrowers.  However, after visiting the town of Chillanes, Ecuador with new Kiva Field Partner Cooperativa San José, this time I didn’t leave with the exciting feeling that I am helping bring the Kiva support and hopefully positive change to more people in underdeveloped communities.

Chillanes is a small,...

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Jan 28, 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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Jan 11, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Josh Wilcox, KF10 Ecuador

Greetings from KF10!  As the first to start a placement with the most recent Fellows class, I’d like to share my first New Year’s experience outside the good ol’ US of A.  During the first week of my Kiva Fellows placement at brand new Kiva Field Partner Cooperativa San José, I was fortunate enough to spend December 31 recognizing and celebrating the Año Viejo (Old Year) while also welcoming in the Año Nuevo (New Year).  At Cooperativa San José, one of the Cooperativa’s suppliers of office materials gave...

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Jan 5, 2010 PE Peru

By Josh Wilcox, KF9 Peru

As many Kiva supporters submitted entries to the Kiva Video Contest, I unfortunately was not able to upload my own version of “How Kiva Works” due to Internet issues in Peru.  In order to not let the precious hours I spent go to waste, I have included below my attempt at describing how Kiva maintains their innovative model, particularly highlighting the role of the Field Partners, who perform an incredibly vital role in the Kiva cycle.  Enjoy!

'... Continue Reading >>

Nov 30, 2009 PE Peru

By Josh Wilcox, KF9 Peru

While Kiva Fellows work diligently with their host microfinance institutions to implement the Kiva processes, verify borrowers, and write insightful journals on the impacts of the loans, it is easy to miss the other behind-the-scenes projects that microfinance organizations are crafting in their lair.

Those of us from the developed world often do not realize that we are not the only ones brainstorming and designing how microfinance will evolve, determining the most effective means to empower individuals in emerging nations to...

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Nov 3, 2009 PE Peru

By Josh Wilcox, KF9 Peru

Taking a brief recess from borrower profiles and repayment schedules at Kiva’s MFI pilot partner Caja Rural one weekend in Ica, Peru, I escaped to visit the small town of Huacachina, the “oasis of America”, located just a few miles outside the sandy metropolitan hub of Ica. Having become famous for its natural lake enclosed by sand dunes, the tiny city of about 115 people has become an immensely popular tourist destination not only for its aesthetic appearance but also the sandboarding and dune buggies.

For those unfamiliar, sandboarding is...

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Oct 21, 2009 PE Peru

by Josh Wilcox, KF9 Peru

With a significant new source of funding comes considerable responsibility and opportunity for those who represent the funds at the local MFIs (aka the Kiva Fellows).  One of the most exciting privileges about working at a brand new pilot partner is the opportunity to influence how Kiva is best utilized and implemented.  When discussing just this topic with the credit manager of Caja Rural Señor de Luren, we brainstormed how the new “Kiva product” could benefit the community within Ica where other capital did not penetrate:

  • The major...
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Oct 6, 2009 PE Peru

By Josh Wilcox, KF9 Peru

Three flights, one bus, and two taxi rides behind me, I arrived safely in the southern Peruvian city of Ica.  Surrounded by a desert and thousands of miles from Monday Night Football with too much luggage and guitar in hand, I was a bit shocked when I found out the hotel I was hoping to temporarily stay at had collapsed in the formidable Peru earthquake in 2007.  Thanks a lot Lonely Planet!

Fortunately I just asked a taxi driver to take me to an affordable hotel he would recommend.  After chatting it up a bit with him in the car and...

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