Stories tagged with Kiva Fellow

May 5, 2015 CR Costa Rica
María Isabel has lived on her farm for fifteen years. Before that, she lived in the capital, San José. It was a hard life trying to earn a living when she didn’t complete school. But on her farm, María Isabel has been able to thrive.

Cows on the Range

María Isabel owns nine dairy cows and milks them every day. Then, twice a day she makes cheese and sour cream. María Isabel has many clients in her community because her products are fresh and less expensive than the stores in the area. She made sure... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2015 CR Costa Rica
Last Friday, I was invited to the community assembly in La Suiza, Costa Rica. This assembly takes place every two years to vote for the Credit Committee’s Board of Directors. A credit committee is similar to a village bank in that it is responsible for assessing and approving loan requests, disbursing loans to borrowers, collecting loan payments, documenting all credit requests and exchanges, and monitoring borrower progress.
 
When I walked into the community space, the President of the Committee, Doña Ethel called me over to sit next to her. Doña Ethel has been part of the... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2015 CR Costa Rica
Daysi dreams of having her own restaurant. She pictures a comfortable place for families to come, enjoy, and eat. One day, she hopes to make her restaurant her sole source of income. 

Frying Plantain Chips


Daysi lives in an area where the paved streets are now rock, where many of the cement houses are now scrap metal, and where the garbage trucks seem to ignore the community. But within this neighborhood is Daysi’s house with an attached restaurant. On the way to visit Daysi, the loan... Continue Reading >>
Mar 3, 2015 CR Costa Rica
Every second Sunday in March, el Día de Boyero (Day of the Oxcart Driver) is celebrated in San Antonio de Escazú, Costa Rica. It’s a day when the townspeople flood into the streets to honor Costa Rican’s history of using oxcarts to transport crops throughout the country. 

San Antonio de Escazú, Costa Rica


Booths are set up to sell delicious local food and arts and crafts. The main attraction is the parade. It starts with music and young dancers, followed by the boyeros. About 100... Continue Reading >>
Jul 7, 2014 KE Kenya
Village view from a matatu

As I approach the matatu stage I feel a bout of irritation.  Completely empty.  I am the first passenger to arrive, which undoubtedly means waiting for an indefinite amount of time until it is full and ready to head out.  I quickly text the Kiva borrower I am to visit to tell her I may be late.  Having been in this situation many times before, she messages me back with an understanding, “Don’t worry, you still come!”  I get in, pick the best seat, buy a few... Continue Reading >>
May 5, 2014 IN India


Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities.” – UN WOMEN

Few people will argue about the importance of women empowerment, and its positive impact in society and economy, but what is the gap between studies and speeches and what’s really happening on the ground?

The election scene in India brought up new... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2014 IN India


Ten miles is a short distance for most of us, but for some women and children in rural India it means isolation from the rest of the world and probably during all their lives.

When I visited Parandih village in the District of Deoghar, Jarkhand, with Kiva Field Partner MicroGraam and their partnering NGO MESP, we were a big group caching the attention of many villagers. Being the only non Indian, for most kids I was probably the first foreigner they’ve ever seen.

This rural village of a hundred homes, like many in India, is not all that far from the... Continue Reading >>
Aug 8, 2013 PE Peru


A few days ago, I went to visit Mrs. Francisca at her Cevicheria accompanied by Karla and Ninoska, Kiva Coordinators at Asociación Arariwa . For those wondering, a Cevicheria is where cheviche is served – a traditional Latin American dish typically made of fresh raw fish and/or seafood marinated in lime, with chopped onions and chili peppers, additional seasoning may be added. If it is not “picante” (hot) it is not cheviche! So they say.

Francisca’s place is simple. From her house, near Cusco’s airport, Francisca... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2013 UG Uganda
As a life-long foodie one of my burning questions before coming to Uganda was “what is the food like?” After two and half months in Kampala I’ve had my share of Ugandan food both in the city and in the village.
 
Most offices have subsidized lunches which can cost as little as 1,000 UGX ($0.40) but most are probably around 2,000 to 3,000 UGX ($0.80 to $1.20). A bargain either way! The typical meal is made up of at least 2 types of starch, a protein, and vegetable.

Sadly, I’ve discovered that seasoning or spice is non-existent in Ugandan... Continue Reading >>
Apr 4, 2013 ID Indonesia, TL Timor-Leste
Usually when I've been in places that I declare to be "artificial" I am thinking of a Disney theme, or a place like Cabo San Lucas or Cancun - southern California or Florida transported to Mexico - a place which bears little resemblance to what it would be like if it weren't for the tourist dollars it was created to attract. Of course, Las Vegas is the archetype for turning a desert into a sweet water oasis, of sorts.

The Jesus statue from the hills above Dili.

Dili, the capital of...

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