Three months ago, I came to Tarapoto, Peru armed with all sorts of tools to start my Kiva fellowship; cameras, powerpoint presentations about Kiva, books about microfinance, and a ton of information acquired during training at Kiva headquarters in San Francisco. While all these were useful, nothing could really prepare me for the most challenging part of my fellowship; finding the borrowers I had to interview to get journal updates for Kiva lenders. Just as my colleague Emily struggled to find Kiva borrowers in Puno, Peru, I had a similar set of challenges in the San Martin region, located further north in the Peruvian Amazon Basin.

As I finish my fellowship, it is time for a new cohort of fellows to take on the challenge. To the new KF8 class, I hope this video helps illustrate some of the challenges you will face. But before I sign off, one more word of advice: when you feel like pulling your hair out/crying/sighing loudly/giving up in frustration because you can’t find a borrower, just go to your happy place. And don’t pay attention to your wet socks.

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Sending a shout out to the MFI staff who does this every day. From Tarapoto, Peru good bye and good luck!

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Hi, my name is Diana Rodriguez Wong reporting from Tarapoto, Peru.
To support Peruvian women entrepreneurs please visit the Manuela Ramos/CrediMUJER loan page or join the new Manuela Ramos lending team.


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