Rob grew-up on a small finca in the Puerto Rican countryside, the son of New Yorker professionals with an adventurous streak who decided to explore an alternative to living and working in Manhattan. His childhood exposure to a variety of Caribbean cultures, including Haiti during "Baby Doc" Duvalier's reign, left him with an enduring taste for cultural variety and a first-hand appreciation for the broad spectrum of socioeconomic inequality. After studying Romance Languages and International Relations in college, Rob embarked on a career in the international business world; ultimately earning an MBA and working in the market intelligence area of several large multinational technology corporations. While this career path has been rewarding in many ways, Rob is excited to focus on "giving back" via a new career in the nonprofit sector; lending support to people who may find themselves closer to the less advantageous end of the socioeconomic spectrum and are working to improve their circumstances.

Fellows Blog Posts by Rob Rout

Apr 23, 2013 PY Paraguay

"Are you going to Carnaval tonight?" the Taxi driver asked me in Spanish.  Newly aware that I had not, as I'd thought, missed Carnaval season, my answer was a pleasantly surprised "heck yeah, I wouldn't miss it!" Later that evening a few friends and I hopped a taxi downtown and, on the way, managed to find a micro-entrepreneur" who was willing to sell us tickets to the Press Box.  Despite some doubts as to the provenance and validity of said tickets, we decided to take the risk .   Carnaval took place on a still-in-development boulevard that... Continue Reading >>

Mar 25, 2013 PY Paraguay

Micro-businesses ranged from handicrafts to catalog sales
In an earlier post I mentioned one of the ways that Fundación Paraguaya serves its constituents by broadening its scope beyond just making microloans.  In that post I wrote about the Fundación’s self-sustaining agricultural and hospitality education program for high school students.   Another way that Fundación Paraguaya equips people to make better use of microfinance and emerge from poverty is through Junior Achievement... Continue Reading >>

Mar 11, 2013 PY Paraguay

Wait, what exactly is going on at Fundacion Paraguaya? Why are they not just making loans?  Have I found the "journalistic" Holy Grail and uncovered Something Scandalous? The Short Answer: (1) No, I haven’t uncovered anything scandalous and (2) they do more than make loans because, quite simply, it is helpful to the people whom they serve! Important Context: I am a wet-behind-the-ears Microfinance Guy who undoubtedly still sees things as being much simpler than they really are. #Kiva Now The Long Answer: As I climb the Development / Microfinance learning curve, I... Continue Reading >>