My Last Peruvian Post

February 9, 2011 at 9:47 am | Posted in Culture, Guatemala, Kiva, Kiva Fellows Post, Microfinance, Peru, Travel | 4 Comments
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This is a hybrid post. Half consists of pieces taken out of my last Kiva Fellows blog. And the other half from my final musings and future plans (I won´t be blogging for at least a month). Feel free to cry now.

Click above to read the full post “Last July, I sat in Kiva headquarters listening to speaker after speaker desperately trying to get a grasp on what life as a Kiva fellow would be like. Despite all my “international” experience, I don´t think anything could have prepared me for the adventure that was to come.  Personally, I set out to discover how microfinance worked, IF it worked, and how it impacted the lives of the people it touched, but I really had no idea what lay ahead of me.

My two Kiva fellowships have allowed me to work with four separate institutions: FAPE and ASDIR in Guatemala and Arariwa and Manuela Ramos in Peru.  I have been able to meet and talk with hundreds of borrowers posting new loans and doing loan updates…

On the flip side, I have had a chance to surf in four new countries, to climb four volcanoes (including Concepción in Nicaragua with some other Kiva Fellows!), and hike the Inca Trail.  On the down side, I have been robbed once and assaulted another time, but I wouldn´t trade my two Kiva fellowships in Guatemala City and Cusco for the world.

And as I see my second (and final) Kiva fellowship come to a close, I have been asking myself what I have learned from the last eight months in the field… My second reflection on microfinance is that the most effective microcredit programs that I have witnessed combine education and training programs with the loans that they offer.  I personally perceive education programs highlighting business management, budgeting, family, nutrition, or health allow the borrowers to develop not only economically, but in all aspects of their life.  Which is the positive impact that all of us wish to see.”

As far as the future, I have a road trip through Patagonia planned with Devin Dvorak (starting on Feb 14th!). Coming back to the states, I’m heading up to Portland for a week, and after trying to find a job in Los Angeles.

My experiences with Kiva in Central and South America have truly been an adventure, one that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Thanks for all your prayers, support, and for reading my blog! I promise to blog when I’m back in the states about my exploits!


Wait, What do you do again???

December 27, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Cuzco, Kiva, Kiva Fellows Post, Microfinance, Peru, Travel | Leave a comment
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New Kiva Fellows blog post

A Look Under the Hood (Fine Tuning an MFI for 2011)

December 14, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Posted in Cuzco, Kiva, Kiva Fellows Post, Microfinance, Peru | Leave a comment
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My new Kiva Fellows Blog Post about Asociacion Arariwa’s Retreat last weekend. From microfinance reflections, to singing Peruvian Folk at 2 am!

A Sneak Preview> “The retreat started out with pictures of Machu Picchu, Maras Moray, Sacsayhuaman, and the mountains and sweeping valleys that put Peru on the map for every tourist coming to South America.  The executive director began, “This is our rich history, memories from a time were we were the most advanced race on the face of the planet”.  The discourse went on to show poverty in Peru: families standing outside of adobe shacks, and homes destroyed by the floods last February and the executive director explained that their “rich” history can´t guarantee a “rich” future for the poor in Peru.  How only microfinance coupled with education (at every village bank Arariwa provides training sessions for their clients) and a focus on improving health and nutrition can do that.”

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Living the Dream

November 29, 2010 at 10:00 am | Posted in Cuzco, Kiva, Kiva Fellows Post, Peru, Travel | Leave a comment
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A new Kiva Fellows Post from Cuzco, Peru and my work with Asociación Arariwa! Do you love to dream? Kiva is one simple way to dream of a better world through microloans and then help others realize their dreams!

La mejor vista de Cuzco

The Kiva Community

November 24, 2010 at 11:00 am | Posted in Cuzco, Kiva, Kiva Fellows Post, Microfinance, Peru, Travel | Leave a comment
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New Kiva Fellows Blog Post about Social Media and Kiva.
How Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Freecycle, and eHarmony all relate to the Kiva Process!

Barrio de San Blas

Bringing you more than just credit

October 11, 2010 at 3:00 am | Posted in Guatemala, Guatemala City, Kiva, Kiva Fellows Post, Microfinance | Leave a comment
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New kiva fellows blog post on Financial Education at FAPE!

Good Medicine

October 6, 2010 at 3:00 am | Posted in Guatemala, Guatemala City, Kiva, Kiva Fellows Post, Microfinance | Leave a comment

New fellows blog post on Health Services at FAPE!

I realized that this post was super boring. So, I´m going to add some stuff to it. One, I met an owner of 3 buses yesterday (Kiva client). He said he pays between 3,000-4000Q weekly to the extortionists (so times my estimate by 30).

Another interesting conversation I had was that there are 150 registered private security firms in Guatemala (and a number of registered ones). Private security outnumbers police 5 to 1.

Going Above and Beyond

September 10, 2010 at 1:00 am | Posted in Aldea Nimasac, Guatemala, Kiva, Kiva Fellows Post, Microfinance | Leave a comment
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A new kiva fellows blog on other services given by microfinance institutions!

Tough Conversations: A New Fellows Blog!

August 28, 2010 at 7:52 am | Posted in Aldea Nimasac, Kiva, Kiva Fellows Post, Microfinance | Leave a comment
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The most avoided topic in microfinance: deliquent loans, I touch on in a new fellows blog. Read it if you are curious about the other 2%, and what steps are being taken to avoid these tough conversations.

Fellows Blog: Tough Conversations

All the best, Eric

And because this post is pretty much just a link… I attached a video of my ride on the back of a moto to go visit clients!

Where There Is Poverty: Broken Windows and Armed Robbery

August 14, 2010 at 7:00 am | Posted in City, Guatemala, Guatemala City, Kiva Fellows Post, Travel | Leave a comment

Full story of how I lost my Backpack, My Nikon D90, My Canon Digital Elph, My New Asus eee PC Seashell, my Kiva binder one sunny Tuesday.

What is most incredible is how often this occurs. How everyone knows it is going on, and yet the police do nothing.  Earlier, I published a blog that posted a news article saying 96% of crimes in Guatemala go unpunished. I guess this is just another one of many in the city that seems tame until it rears its ugly side.

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