Last year, I served as a substitute teacher in my hometown of Minnetonka, Minnesota.
Now as a Kiva Fellow in Guatemala, I hope to maintain contact with the students.
This is my video journal.
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Here is a peek into my daily routine as a Kiva Fellow in Sololá, Guatemala. My schedule usually goes something like this…
8:00AM – Wake-Up
8:15AM – Emails, Updates and Writing for my travel blog
8:45AM – Arrive at...Continue Reading >
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...Continue Reading >
The “End of the World” is coming this Friday and I couldn’t be more excited about it!
Living in the heart of the Mayan Empire has given me the opportunity to get to the bottom of all the “End of the World” rumors that I’m sure you’ve all heard about by now.
It has been said that the Mayans predicted the world’s demise to be scheduled for December 21, 2012, and just like any international apocalypse talk, marketing schemes and business ploys followed soon after.
I wanted to see if I...Continue Reading >
Any Kiva Fellow will tell you that visiting Kiva borrowers is one of the most satisfying parts of our experience. This is our moment to go beyond the borrower photographs and short biographies on the Kiva website. We greet borrowers by shaking hands and kissing cheeks, we sit in their homes, we walk through their fields, we touch the garments they sew and taste the baked goods from their ovens, we learn the names of their cows, and we try to make their children smile.
These are moments when we transcend the digital world and our Kiva connections become human.
...Continue Reading >
“Do you know the real San Severino?” asked the inebriated man next to me on the bus back to Cochabamba. “The real San Severino!”
I wasn’t too sure exactly what he meant; the real San Severino died over 1500 years ago. “Well, um, I know he was a saint, from Europe I think, who brings the rains…” I stumbled but tried my best to answer him.
“Bah! No one knows the real San Severino!” he blustered.
After a moment the question came again: “Do you know...Continue Reading >
Agriculture has long been the anchor for the people of land-locked Bolivia. As a testament to the region’s horticultural richness, the number of foods originating here is impressive: potatoes, chili peppers, peanuts, pineapple, kidney beans, manioc, quinoa… foods we all know and should love.
And nowhere else in Bolivia is farming as vital as in the Central Valleys...Continue Reading >
As in life, the key to a happy, healthy and productive Kiva Fellowship is largely based on the relationships you form with those around you. The difference with this experience however, is that you don’t have the opportunity to spend years earning trust, respect and admiration from your peers. You must find a way to infiltrate the hearts and minds of your colleagues and clients in a...Continue Reading >
Luckily I’m here in Bolivia for one of the most important celebrations of the year so I jumped at the chance to witness the Todos Santos holiday up close and personal. My previous knowledge was limited to piecemeal notions imported from Mexico, but here in Bolivia this special celebration takes on its own particular traditions dating back centuries and is deeply rooted in Andean cosmology.
...Continue Reading >
In the past month, I’ve worn my soles thin pounding the pavement visiting Kiva borrowers in the major cities of La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. I’ve come to love and trust the Kiva microfinance institutions (MFI’s) I’m working with here and would recommend them hands down to any prospective borrower out there.
Yet everywhere I go I can’t help but notice the seemingly endless storefront banners offering cheap credit, personal loans, instant money advances. In large cities and small towns I see consumer banks, community cooperatives, microcredit institutions, pawn brokers...Continue Reading >