Jan 24, 2016 GO Global Update

In the movie Taken Liam Neeson says, “I don’t have money.  But what I do have is a set of very particular skills that makes me a nightmare for someone like you.”  Kiva is about altruism, not vengeance, but our Fellows are just as skilled (in a non-violent way) as any ex-spy.   Many people assume that all foreign travel is basically a beach vacation, and anyone could do it if they just had the time or money.  One friend asked me, "Apart from speaking Spanish, what skills do you have?"  This got me curious about what special skills my fellow Fellows have, so I... Continue Reading >>


Dec 29, 2015 CN China

Microcred China’s main office is in the Nanchong City Hall area. This is the street view in front of the office.
Happy Holidays! This is the most grateful season in the year and I would like to share how grateful I am while working with our first Field Partner in China. From a commercial banker’s point of view, I was very impressed by Microcred China because they carry solid banking standards into microfinance practices. In other words, they bank for good and really make a difference. Moreover, Microcred China is a... Continue Reading >>


Dec 22, 2015 GO Global Update

Queens Courage on display at the sneak preview of Chris's fancy new distillery. Proof + Gauge at the Astoria Distilling Company will be open to the public in January 2016.
When I called former Kiva Zip borrower Chris Murillo earlier this week, he was taking off his construction respirator as he answered the phone. I could hear things being built in the background, the final touches on what he proudly told me will “be the first official craft distillery in Queens” come January 2016.   Chris is the founder and... Continue Reading >>


Dec 17, 2015 RW Rwanda

Traveling is a feast for the mind, eyes, soul, and most of all, stomach. This is a post about what has kept my stomach happy in the last 3 months in East Africa; I’d like to share five East African foods that I’ve enjoyed. 1. Let’s start with the ubiquitous staple dish, the star player in almost every local restaurant – a heaping plate of various starches/carbs with a side of one or two pieces of meat if you want to treat yourself. This is a dish intended for the working man, strangely devoid of the abundant vegetables found in markets, its' primary... Continue Reading >>


Dec 16, 2015 EC Ecuador

The conventional definition of "Kiva magic" is when a borrower sees a printout of their Kiva profile and realizes, ecstatically, that they're involved in much more than an ordinary loan: dozens of strangers on the other side of the world have pledged them money on the strength of their photo and bio.  It's wonderful when this happens, and it makes inspiring photos and videos.  Yet in the course of visiting more than 25 borrowers, I've only witnessed this once.  In Peru and Ecuador at least, most borrowers are more overcome with bewilderment than joy.  In some sense this is... Continue Reading >>


Dec 15, 2015 PR Puerto Rico

Entering my last week as a Kiva Fellow in Puerto Rico, I want to share some insights as to what my experience has been like. What surprised me the most is the number of amazing people I’ve met since I arrived, and the friendships built these past few months. I came here with no expectations, only with the desire to spend my time in a project that would contribute to another person’s dreams. I can’t thank enough to Denisse Rodríguez, Kiva Fellow in Puerto Rico, for welcoming me so open heartedly. More than a colleague, I found a friend from whom I’ve learned a lot both personally and... Continue Reading >>


Dec 11, 2015 PR Puerto Rico

I’m from Costa Rica, a Spanish-speaking country, so I didn’t expect to have many language barriers during my time in Puerto Rico, but I was wrong. So, for anyone coming to Puerto Rico, this is my top 10 list of favorite Puerto Rican words and their meanings. If you know other words that should be on the list, please leave a comment. A special thanks to the “corillo” of Foundation for Puerto Rico for teaching me most, if not all, of these words.
  • Jangueo: going out with your friends. You might’ve guessed it already, but it comes from the English “to hang out”. There is also a verb form...
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    Dec 8, 2015 US United States

    Lazy Eight Stock Farm in Paint Lick, KY
    As a newcomer to Kentucky, I’ve tried to head dive into the Louisville world as quickly, and with as much splash, as possible. Being the friendly place it is, Louisville dealt me a good hand right off the bat: two days before I moved here, a family invited me to live with them and, two days after, I ran into a college classmate that had been in my specific concentration. I immediately had an awesome friend and surrogate family. I thought I received some incredible...
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    Dec 4, 2015 US United States

    Luke, owner of Groce Family Farm
    In November 2014, Kiva City Louisville launched with an event at Honest Home, borrower Sandra's beautiful sustainable home supplies store, that was attended by Mayor Greg Fischer and other supporters of innovative approaches to economic development. In November 2015, we funded our 50th local loan, bringing the grand total of Kiva’s impact in this community to date to $273,825. Not one dollar went to tobacco, because our new cash crops are ingenuity... Continue Reading >>


    Dec 3, 2015 EC Ecuador

    Nestled in the northern city of Ibarra, a new Kiva partner, CACMU (Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Mujeres Unidas), offers an impressive line of products to the community. The result of 3 organizations coming together 14 years ago, CACMU now offers financial services all over northern Ecuador. I recently joined CACMU in Ibarra, and have witnessed firsthand their dedication to their social mission. To reach clients in impoverished, rural communities, they created a “servimovil” roving branch office, which visits a different town each day. For borrowers who have poor credit, they offer micro-... Continue Reading >>


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