Drive about 1.5 hours east of the up-and-coming metropolis of Medellín, and you’ll find yourself on tranquil mountain roads in Cocorná, dotted with family farms and handmade houses. Keep your eyes peeled, because Tienda de Paz San Jose doesn’t look like much at first glance. It’s a one-story brick building perched on a hill, seemingly indistinguishable from countless other roadside pit stops in the area. However, inside this unremarkable structure lives the beating heart of a community that has been displaced from their homes by violence three times. Their reaction? To invest in themselves... Continue Reading >>
I have been in Costa Rica for two weeks and so far I’ve been to a wedding, a baptism, and a birthday party.
Taiwan may be the newly crowned World’s Friendliest Country, but I’d say that Costa Rica gives it some heavy competition.
I had heard something of Tico hospitality before arriving, but I had brushed it off as one of those things that every culture lays...Continue Reading >>
I had the privilege of being Kiva’s first fellow to work with Together Association for Development and Environment (TADE), our only partner in Egypt. TADE is based in the Minya governate, known locally as the “Bride of Upper Egypt.”Before arriving, all I knew about Minya came from headlines of vicious extremist attacks targeting Christian communities. I was relieved to find an oasis of harmony, where the community ties... Continue Reading >>
Visiting Borrowers in Biet Ed-Deen, Lebanon When I told my friends and family that I was leaving my job in Washington D.C. to move to Lebanon as a Kiva Fellow, I got the same reaction from everyone: is it safe? Isn’t that near Syria? What's there? Very few Americans know about Lebanon, and even those who do only know it through the lens of the media: images of war-torn buildings and a refugee crisis too big to handle. So, I will do my best to shed light on my experiences here in hopes that I can tell a story about Lebanon that isn’t told often enough, one of abundant hospitality... Continue Reading >>
Today, we are heading off to Morogoro, name given to both the town and its larger district. In fact, our journey ends in a rustic village called Kisemu. Located an eight-hour drive away from Dar-es-salaam, the main economic city that concentrates 90% of Tanzania's wealth, our destination has fair chances to be contrastingly remote and poor. Once we arrive there, not without trouble as the rainy season reaches its peak, we enjoy a delicious meal, a soup made with locally bred chicken, then have a long night sleep to have us ready for the next day: we will have some young women to... Continue Reading >>