Stories tagged with Costa Rica

Aug 8, 2013 CR Costa Rica, GO Global Update

Journaling. Is it a lost art or a relic of times past that has rightfully disappeared in a world of easy electronic fixes for expression? Journals are deeply private things, they represent ourselves poured out in ink. Our moods can be seen in every penstroke, our thoughts in every malformed word. We don't edit ourselves in journals. Looking back, our writing seems disjointed and without the structure or social awareness that is expected from a polished status update. Journals are the only places,...

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Aug 8, 2013 CR Costa Rica, SV El Salvador, GO Global Update, GT Guatemala, HN Honduras
This August, I completed 7 months on the road in Central America with Kiva!  I had once ignorantly assumed homogeneity among Central American countries, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover differences in each city, region, and country that I have visited. From climate, to cuisine, to culture, to colloquialisms, I found myself amazed at the variety and distinctions. 

So, here are 5 lessons learned and my Top Ten Favorites from my time in the Central America.

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Aug 8, 2013 CR Costa Rica
Every city that I have ever visited has been decorated/defaced with lots of colorful graffiti. In some cities, the graffiti is confined to train tunnels, highway overpasses and other functional places that generally lack any kind of redeeming aesthetic qualities. In others, the graffiti can be seen everywhere, coating fire hydrants, schools and long-abandoned corner grocery stores (among other places).

The common thread in both types of city is that most graffiti, however colorful it may be, either advertises a gang's territory or functions as an artist's signature (or both);... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2013 CR Costa Rica
Going to bars or clubs before they open is always strange: music is loudly thumping, lights are moving festively across walls and floors and bartenders are standing at the ready with bottles open and kegs tapped. All of this is happening while the bar is completely empty, making it an eerie experience that I typically attempt to avoid. But, I was on a mission this night.

The reason that I arrived at this trendy bar so early was to help with the setting up of an event to raise funds for Café Pendiente, an initiative that began here in Costa Rica one month ago. Caf... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2013 CR Costa Rica
I'm a vegetarian. However, there are occasionally times when I relent and consume meat, especially if it's offered and refusal means either going hungry or—worse—being rude. Even this reluctant acceptance of the occasional meaty meal has its limits, though.

I will not eat pork. It's not a religious thing for me, nor is it a question of taste; I think bacon tastes fantastic and is a wondrous smell in the morning, particularly maple-cured smoked bacon, eagerly sizzling in the pan as the coffee brews. This is the smell that mornings are made of, that makes... Continue Reading >>
Jun 6, 2013 CR Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a land of beautiful beaches and some of the world's most astounding natural wonders. But, more than anything, Costa Rica is a land of coffee. Coffee in the morning, coffee at noon, coffee after lunch and coffee with dinner. Coffee not only powers your average Costa Rican worker through the day, but is also one of the country's biggest economic drivers.

So, it is with alarm that I note that I've only been in Costa Rica for a couple of weeks, but almost every Kiva borrower that I... Continue Reading >>
Dec 12, 2012 BJ Benin, CO Colombia, CR Costa Rica, HN Honduras, JO Jordan

By Kiva Fellows | KF19 | All Over the World

A Happy Holidays to the Kiva family everywhere!  May your celebrations be filled with foods and flavor, smiling faces, natural beauty, light and memories… here are some gifts from around the world courtesy of the Kiva Fellows 19th class:

On the Twelve Days of Christmas my Kiva Fellow gave to me…

Day 1: A Turtle Heading Out to...

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Dec 12, 2012 CR Costa Rica, UG Uganda

just some of the lovely Ticos I met during my fellowship

It never ceases to amaze me how you can connect with people who are completely different from you. Maybe you don’t speak the same first language. Maybe you grew up on opposite sides of the world, or you were born in different decades. But somehow, despite all your differences—and perhaps against all odds—you find commonalities. And what’s more, sometimes you realize that below the surface, maybe you’re not actually all...

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Dec 12, 2012 CR Costa Rica

my new ‘hood in San Carlos

A road trip with FUNDECOCA

It’s hard to believe it’s been a month since I arrived in San Carlos and started working at my second MFI. FUNDECOCA is one of Kiva’s newest partners… and they are really excited about working with Kiva!

My fellowship here started off with a bang as I was whisked off on day trips to visit some of FUNDECOCA’s credit communities. FUNDECOCA offers loans to 53 communities...

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Nov 11, 2012 CR Costa Rica

thank you, Kiva

Trekking to La Danta

Two weeks ago I headed out for the last of my borrower verifications with EDESA, the microfinance institution where I’ve been working. All week long I anticipated my trip to Golfito, which is way down in southern Costa Rica, in the Puntarenas province. I asked my colleagues about our portfolio there and peppered them with questions like: ‘Have you ever been to Golfito? How far is it from the Panamanian border? I heard it’s...

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