Cassandra Salcedo

Born and raised in New Jersey to immigrant parents from the Philippines, Cassandra grew up as a first generation American with the mentality that each person should have an opportunity to improve his or her life. Cassandra's desire for experiencing different cultures was sparked during a semester abroad in Spain. Since then, she has traveled to more than 20 countries and has no intent to stop. She received her BA in Accounting with minors in Spanish and Business Information Systems from Lehigh University. After graduation, she moved to New York City where she began her career in KPMG's Audit Financial Services practice. After an arduous first year, she decided to spend three weeks volunteering at a childcare facility in South Africa serving impoverished children, many of whom lost their parents to HIV/AIDS and violence. This experience propelled her to give back in her local community. She is a “Big Sister” to a child from the Dominican Republic and serves on a Manhattan high school advisory board that aims to help its immigrant student base realize their fullest potential and gain access to higher education. The combination of these life experiences sparked Cassandra’s interest in microfinance and international development. She strongly believes that access to basic financial services can transform the lives of individuals, as well as have a positive impact on the broader community. Cassandra is eager to apply the skills she has learned, along with her intense passion to help others while she works at microfinance institutions in both Ecuador and Peru.

Fellows Blog Posts by Cassandra Salcedo

Apr 14, 2015 PE Peru

Julia in her bakery
Meet Julia - a 46 year old woman with 4 children who lives in the Cupiche province of Peru. Growing up, she always loved eating her mother's cakes and helping her bake. When Julia worked as a domestic mother in the past, she started to practice her mother's craft by baking and reading cookbooks. As her passion for baking grew, she decided to study Bakery at a local institute, where she mastered her skills. Since 2010, her bakery, "Señor de... Continue Reading >>


Mar 31, 2015 PE Peru

It was a beautiful Thursday morning in Lima, Peru; 85 degrees and sunny.  My commute to work was on a bus built for 40 people, but it was overflowing with people at almost triple it’s capacity.  After previous trips, I have grown accustomed to feeling like the proverbial  "sardine in a can" on my daily commute.  Despite the steamy bus conditions, I arrived at my destination, SENATI, which is a technical institute in the northern area of Lima called Independencia.  There are around 12 SENATI campuses in Lima, but the Independencia location is one of the largest...
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Feb 24, 2015 EC Ecuador

Are guinea pigs better served as pets or meals?  This is one question I never thought I would have the opportunity to answer.   It was a sunny Tuesday here in Ecuador and the loan officers and I were headed to go meet with a Kiva borrower to discuss how her business of raising chickens was doing.  Along the way, my stomach began to growl.  I expressed to the loan officers that I was hungry and they asked me what I wanted to eat.  I told them that I wanted to try more of the local food in Ecuador.  They immediately smiled and said had the same idea - cuy.  ... Continue Reading >>


Feb 12, 2015 EC Ecuador

Danni cooking and preparing for her day's work
After venturing through hours of the greenest landscape over several hills, we finally made it to Borbon, a small city in Northern Ecuador.  Our mission was to find Danni - a Kiva borrower.  However, it wasn't as simple as one may think.  First, we had to climb down a hill into an area of several homes.  The loan officers forgot which direction her house was, so we asked a group of women where Danni was.  After... Continue Reading >>


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