Outside the town of Esteli in Nicaragua, you can find the Catholic University of Dry Tropic Farming and Livestock (UCATSE). In October 2010, MíCrédito and Kiva disbursed their first student loans there.
These loans allowed the students to put into practice, what they had learned in the classroom. One group of students used their loans ($75 per student at 1.5% interest per month) to make cheese which was sold on campus.
As a Kiva Fellow, I decided to visit the university, meet the students, see the process firsthand, and offer my services as an official taster.
Future student loans are being considered for projects to raise pigs, and to cultivate a high-quality tomato.
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-Karen Gray, Kiva Fellow 14, in Nicaragua