As a Kiva fellow in Colombia and Peru, Julie, a 26-year-old Chicago native, is fulfilling a lifelong dream of moving to South America. She started learning Spanish at age 12 and never looked back! Julie has a bachelor's degree in Spanish and Anthropology from Washington University in St. Louis. She spent the past four years working for a tech company and is thrilled to try her hand in the nonprofit world. Julie is interested in blurring the lines between the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors and taking the most effective elements from each to form an economic system that is both more efficient and more altruistic. She is particularly interested in the intersections between healthcare, government, and education. Julie enjoys dogs, mountains, yoga, thunderstorms, hiking, and anything with avocado.


Fellows Blog Posts by Julie Pfeffer

Dec 5, 2017 PE Peru

As many readers of this blog likely know, Kiva lends zero-interest capital to microfinance institutions (MFIs) all over the world. Perhaps fewer of you know that the majority of those MFIs charge their clients interest on the loans they receive through Kiva - sometimes as high as 35% to 40% in my regions. I’ll admit, I was disappointed when I learned that peculiar detail of the Kiva model. However, the fact that I’m writing this post should be proof enough that my on-the-ground work with Kiva’s Field Partners has changed me from a skeptic to a believer. Care to know how I got there...

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Oct 3, 2017 CO Colombia

When you read the phrase “internally displaced persons,” what countries come to mind? I immediately think of Syria and Iraq. If pressed, I can think of a few more: South Sudan, perhaps Somalia and Pakistan. If the phrase “internally displaced persons” (IDPs) means nothing to you, you’re in good company; I learned the term myself within the last month. IDPs are people who are forced to leave their homes due to violence or natural disasters, but have not crossed their home country’s borders. I consider myself a daily consumer of global news. As a Spanish speaker and a current...

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Aug 8, 2017 CO Colombia

Drive about 1.5 hours east of the up-and-coming metropolis of Medellín, and you’ll find yourself on tranquil mountain roads in Cocorná, dotted with family farms and handmade houses. Keep your eyes peeled, because Tienda de Paz San Jose doesn’t look like much at first glance. It’s a one-story brick building perched on a hill, seemingly indistinguishable from countless other roadside pit stops in the area. However, inside this unremarkable structure lives the beating heart of a community that has been displaced from their homes by violence three times. Their reaction? To invest in themselves... Continue Reading >>