Fellows Blog Posts by Leigh Madeira

Apr 26, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Leigh Madeira, KF10 Ecuador

Seeing as it’s my final week in Ecuador, I decided to take Kiva’s commitment to P2P to the max by meeting a borrower who had actually received a loan that I personally made at the start of my Kiva adventure!  After reading Jose´s profile multiple times over the past few weeks, getting to meet him in person was by far one of the coolest things I have done so far as a Kiva Fellow, not just because we shared a connection through my loan, but because Jose has a very inspirational story and is living proof that microfinance works. 

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Apr 13, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Leigh Madeira, KF10 Ecuador

Anyone who visits Ecuador, Quito in particular, will likely hear that Otavalo, a town with 40,000 indigenous people about 1.5 hours from the capital city, is a must-see.  Is it for the beautiful beaches?  Definitely not.  The rainforest, cloud forest, or lush mountainous landscape?  Not that either.  The wildlife?  Nope!  Although Otavalo is a quaint town with great views of the surrounding volcanoes, it is a popular tourist destination solely because it has one of the most famous indigenous markets in all of South America.  In fact, Lonely...

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Mar 13, 2010 EC Ecuador

By Leigh Madeira, KF10 Ecuador

Although it´s more like Sacagaweas here!

What in the world am I talking about?  Well, today, March 13, 2010, is the ten-year anniversary of the US dollar being used in Ecuador.   That´s right, most people are unaware that the official currency of Ecuador (and Panama and El Salvador to name a few others) is the United States Dollar.

The US $100 bill

In early 2000, Ecuador´s economy was in “a...

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Mar 8, 2010 EC Ecuador

Note: This post was published in 2010 and contains outdated information. Please see this blog post or kiva.org/help. By Leigh Madeira, KF10, Ecuador

The more I read the Kiva Fellows blog, the more I realize that there is a lot of controversy surrounding Kiva, its Field Partners, and microfinance in general.  While I welcome the discussion, microfinance is a complicated concept and I have noticed that many times the criticisms are based on misconceptions of how Kiva and microfinance really work in the developing world.  Below please...

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Feb 5, 2010 EC Ecuador

As my first entry in the Kiva Fellows Blog, I thought I would answer the obvious question, “Why did you apply to be a Kiva Fellow”?    Leaving a (paying) job to work for free for 3 months doesn’t always sound appealing, yet I could not be more thrilled to start work in Ecuador as a Kiva Fellow at Fundación D-MIRO this Monday.

While filling out my application to become a Kiva Fellow, I was asked to write a short essay answering this very question and I would like to share with you my response:

I discovered my passion for service the day Marisol chopped my...

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