Sep 20, 2016 HT Haiti

When the French colonizers settled in the Hispaniola Island, they called Haiti “La Perle des Antilles.” Once you spend enough time in the country, you will find that there is a good reason for calling it as such. For anyone who visits Haiti for the first time, they will be shocked by their first impressions while driving from the airport to the hotel: the narrow and overcrowded streets, the piles of garbage laying at every other corner, the “Blokis” (Haitian creole for "traffic jam") every 500 meters and the countless motorcycles just trying to move forward by invading the other side of the... Continue Reading >>


Sep 12, 2016 KE Kenya

Clean energy is a huge need for rural farmers in Kenya. Only 23% of Kenyans are connected to the grid, leaving the majority of the country without access to electricity. And when 85% of the population lives in rural areas, creating that access is not an easy task. Kiva’s partner, Juhudi Kilimo is well known in Kenya for providing agricultural loans to lift rural farmers out of poverty, (such as loans to purchase dairy cows, chickens, and farming tools).  Although that is still at the core of what they do, they are now offering clean energy loans to farmers.With these... Continue Reading >>


Sep 6, 2016 DO Dominican Republic

Sugarcane being transported for planting during the off season
After a couple of months in the capital of Santo Domingo, I headed to La Romana to visit a more rural branch office of Esperanza, one of Kiva’s partners in the Dominican Republic. For a little less than two weeks, I worked with the exceptionally welcoming La Romana staff to conduct a Borrower Verification (BV), an audit to ensure that Kiva partners administer your loans with the highest integrity.
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Sep 5, 2016 GO Global Update

2016 can officially be crowned the Year of Nostalgia. The evidence is clear. This year, 20 years after opening their first case, Scully and Mulder have returned to help us answer the age old question- “Aliens or nah?”. Blink 182 transported us back to the years of our teenage angst with their new album that debuted at number one. And let’s not forget, Clinton is running for president… What year is it again?   Yet, the ‘90s movement that took the cake this year has to be Pokémon Go. Pokémon has swept the nation--no, the world-- with its new mobile game. As Kiva Fellows serving in... Continue Reading >>


Aug 26, 2016 TL Timor-Leste

A view overlooking the coast of Dili (the capital of Timor-Leste)
What could crocodiles, coffee and collective impact possibly have in common (other than some ingenious alliteration)? As a Kiva fellow, I spent a month in Timor Leste (East Timor) and found that these three things offer a taste of Timor through their importance in the past, present and future of the country.  First off, let’s take a step back. Timor Leste, where is that!? Timor Leste is one of the world’s newest and least developed countries.... Continue Reading >>


Aug 25, 2016 GO Global Update

Fellows are introducing old and new routines, hobbies and habits in their new environment. Here is what they are up to!
Trishna- India  
Something Old: Sticking to my Colorado roots I have continued my love for the outdoors and hiking by joining trekking...
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Aug 18, 2016 KG Kyrgyzstan

In December 2007, two things happened almost simultaneously: 1.) I enrolled in a Finance and Applied Mathematics dual-degree program at the University of Auckland and; 2.) Financial markets all over the world crashed overnight This naturally meant that my entire tertiary education revolved around the recession. I spent many nights using the benefit of hindsight to build financial models that could’ve predicted the timing of America’s housing bubble burst. For one of my favourite courses, we had to perform investment analysis and research before picking a ten-stock portfolio on Google... Continue Reading >>


Aug 10, 2016 GO Global Update

I am writing this blog from a cafe in Jaen, Peru. By my estimation I am the only white person in the entire city. I’ve come to this conclusion on account of not seeing anyone overtly non-Peruvian and being regularly stared at with great skepticism. Obviously, I have no qualms about being in such a scenario – it’s simply something I have never experienced. The first month and a half of my fellowship was spent in Cusco, Peru, a city stocked with foreign travelers making their way to Macchu Picchu, Canyon de Colca, Lake Titicaca or enjoying the nearby attractions. Cut to Jaen, Peru, a city of... Continue Reading >>


Aug 9, 2016 MX Mexico

As a Kiva Fellow on my own in a new country, I’ve listened to a lot of podcasts. One of which, the Marketplace Tech podcast, has a game called Silicon Tally. Every week on Silicon Tally, the host and a guest try to guess the significance of numbers from that week’s tech news headlines that have been stripped from their context. Here’s my version, Mexico Tally, with this week’s focus on Sistema Biobolsa. The numbers to guess are… 17, 196, 6%, 11, $260, $28-$40, 2.4 million+ While you prepare your guesses, I’ll provide a bit of background. Sistema Biobolsa (Biobolsa) is a social enterprise... Continue Reading >>


Aug 9, 2016 GO Global Update

Standing at a whopping 6 feet 2 inches tall, with kind eyes and a warm, toothy grin, Yessaya Lyimo is quite the presence in any room. He is the first person I met in Tanzania, and has probably been the most influential in making my time here a safe, engaging, and enjoyable one.
Yessaya at this desk in the office
  Since the moment he spotted me (not a difficult task, but hey) in the steamy arrivals hall of the Dar International Airport, Yessaya has taken me under his wing, and treated me like a child of his own.... Continue Reading >>


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