Oct 18, 2016 LR Liberia

One of my favorite parts of traveling is the opportunity to try new foods. I’ve never been particularly interested in typical tourist attractions. I would rather explore and wander upon serendipitous experiences. The best way to truly understand what a culture is all about is to sample its cuisine.   Liberia is not particularly well known for its food. It’s a shame though. Trying Liberian food has been a valuable extension of my experience. The dishes are spicy, sweet, and salty; starchy, but full of various meats; and oh so exquisitely prepared and seasoned. Where else could one buy a... Continue Reading >>


Oct 17, 2016 BR Brazil

Kid jumping the rope
It's funny how Brazilians have a different date for almost every typical western celebration. For example, Valentine’s Day is celebrated on June 12th and Father’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of August. Children’s day (Dia das crianças) is a pretty big event in Brazil too and it is celebrated on October 12th. As part of this year Children’s Day, my field partner in Sao Paulo, Banco do Povo Credito Solidario, sponsored a day playing with Brazilian kids ("crianças" in Portuguese), from an... Continue Reading >>


Oct 13, 2016 BO Bolivia

Meet Javier Alberto Viscarra
Meet Javier Alberto Viscarra. A 49-year old entrepreneur, he recycles hospital waste to develop solutions for unwanted plastic. His product is simple, a machine that breaks down “low density polyethylene” – substance that plastic bottles contain – and recycles them as granules for reuse in the market. He developed his first machine in 2010 when he started his workshop with limited capital and his wife told him - "think of this as your biggest fight, of... Continue Reading >>


Oct 12, 2016 SV El Salvador

With 40 years of experience behind her apron, Maria Dolores used a Kiva loan to transform a small artisanal breadmaking business into an ever-growing enterprise.  Maria continues to use traditional methods, including a wood-fired stove, to produce each high quality loaf just as her mother once taught her.  This traditional method, although time consuming, yields a tasty product favored by Maria’s customers in and around La Union, El Salvador.
Artisanal bread
With her bread sales, Maria can take in up to... Continue Reading >>


Oct 8, 2016 KH Cambodia

Coming into my fellowship, I was quite aware of some of the challenges of running microfinance operations. I knew that interest rates from certain microfinance institutions can be too high for borrowers to sustain repayments and that it takes a lot of manpower to disburse loans, perform loan assessments, and conduct verifications. But I only understood those factors on a theoretical level.

After being on the ground for almost a month now, I...

Continue Reading >>


Oct 7, 2016 BR Brazil

Here with Maria Aparecida, one of Kiva funded entrepreneurs in Brazil who benefits from lower interest rates
Most of us have heard at least once about Brazil: this enormously huge country, with crazy amazing beaches, great weather, great people, land of Gisele Bundchen, land of caipirinha and so on. For those who know a bit more about Brazil, perhaps you might know about Dilma Rousseff and its recent impeachment, the ongoing economic crisis that still hasn’t come to an end, the Olympics that were recently hosted in... Continue Reading >>


Oct 7, 2016 VN Vietnam

Kenya dominates mobile money, as there are now more than 26.7 million M-Pesa subscribers in Kenya alone, and these subscribers can now use M...

Continue Reading >>


Oct 6, 2016 VN Vietnam

Biodigesters meet the triple bottom line (“TBL”) of people, planet and profit, thereby resulting in maximum impact. They not only reduce energy costs,...

Continue Reading >>


Sep 29, 2016 GH Ghana

There are not many things I will get up at 4:30 a.m. for, but as it turns out, the chance to attend a Dagomba Outdooring ceremony is one of them. I had been invited by my housemate, a former Peace Corps volunteer who has lived in Ghana for seven years. A week earlier a new baby had been born to her host family, so when she invited me to spend a day in the village, I jumped at the chance. Since arriving in Ghana two weeks earlier to begin my Kiva fellowship I hadn’t seen much beyond the city of Tamale, and I was eager...

Continue Reading >>


Sep 23, 2016 DO Dominican Republic

As a Kiva Fellow in the Dominican Republic, I had the distinct pleasure of working with FUNDAPEC (the funding arm of Action for Education and Culture) and getting to know some of the students it supports. FUNDAPEC has been expanding access to education for nearly 50 years, lending to over 100,000 students since its founding in 1967.  Based on its long-standing positive reputation countrywide, FUNDAPEC has partnered with nearly every university in the DR, enabling students to attend school wherever they want, from agricultural La Vega to the hectic capital, Santo Domingo. After... Continue Reading >>


Pages

LendingOnKiva