Abigail Bates

Abby was born and raised in Northern California, but moved to New York City to obtain a degree in Sustainable Development and Anthropology from Columbia University. While at Columbia, she solidified her passion for international development through studying and researching in Ireland, South Africa, and the Dominican Republic as well as through interning with The Foundation for the United Nations Global Compact. After obtaining her degree from Columbia, Abby returned to Northern California to coordinate sustainability efforts for Driscoll’s, a multinational berry company, where she worked on efforts to eliminate inefficient corporate water use and implemented a nationwide recycling program for plastics used in berry production. International Development being her first passion, Abby left her job in California to work with a social development nonprofit in Bolivia and joined KF29 as a Kiva Fellow in Colombia. She will continue working as a Kiva Fellow in the Dominican Republic this summer.

Fellows Blog Posts by Abigail Bates

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 >>


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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May 11, 2016 CO Colombia

After visiting over 20 Kiva borrowers throughout Colombia, I have met many different people – young, experienced, women, men, city-dwellers, rural farmers, and so on. Although each one of my visits has been unique, one thing remains constant: every borrower I have met has been impressively entrepreneurial and tenacious. I leave every visit feeling inspired and humbled not only by what the borrowers have achieved and overcome, but also by their motivations for becoming entrepreneurs. Below are three of many remarkable Colombian entrepreneurs who work with Interactuar, a Kiva Partner in... Continue Reading >>


Mar 31, 2016 CO Colombia

During my recent visits with borrowers from Fundación Mario Santo Domingo (FMSD), a Kiva Field Partner based in the Coastal Region of Colombia, I was fortunate enough to meet Miriam, an innovative craftsperson, mother of two, and vivacious conversationalist. Miriam has officially been in business making handbags, skirts, hair accessories, and other products for about 20 years in Cartagena de Indias, but she has been honing her craft for an impressive 42 years, since childhood.  
One of Miriam's products and...
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