Main Street = D-MIRO’s Main Priority

27 October 2009 at 14:00 23 comments

By Kimia Raafat, KF9 Ecuador
Fortin district of Guayaquil

Fortin district of Guayaquil

The recession has affected most families in one form another.  Personally, I was laid off from my first post-collegiate job and ushered over to the unemployment line.  Post lay-off, I spent a solid week sitting in my pajamas and watching the news.  I rolled my eyes as every other segment was titled “from Wall Street to Main Street”.

Upon arrival in Guayaquil, I quickly learned that the fallout of the recession looks different in Ecuador, than it did in the United States.  Funding from unemployment checks and severance are not options for the clients of this field partner, Fundacion D-MIRO Mision Alianza (D-MIRO).    Most clients live in peri-urban, marginalized areas of city (see the Fortin district photos).   Although these “cities” may appear antiquated without sewer systems, water and paved roads, they are all “new” and they keep expanding!  In the last year, Ecuadorian farmers slowly lost access to credit in the rural countryside.  The recession catapulted them into the peri-urban Guayas zones in search of opportunity. Each plot of land sells for approximately $200, and depending on resources, the owners will spend an average of $2500  to build a simple home.  Sheet metal, cement, bricks, and cane are the building blocks of these homes.   Any elevation (see photo below) is a bonus, as it protects the home from landslides and thieves.  It is estimated that 40% of Guayaquil’s ~2,100,000 inhabitants live in such conditions.

Fundacion D-MIRO Mision Alianza’s mission is to be a microfinance institution that contributes to the improvement of the quality of life in marginalized areas of Ecuador, providing agile and opportune services that reflect confidence in it’s clients.  The staff and especially the loan officers go above and beyond the call of duty to reach those marginalized from the traditional financial system for different reasons (culture, sex race, poverty, etc).  As D-MIRO and it’s clients pick themselves back up from the economic hit, they look forward to partnering with Kiva to fulfill their mission! I would like to welcome one of Kiva’s newest field partners, Fundacion D-MIRO Mision Alianza!!

Kimia Raafat is a Kiva Fellow (KF9) at a new Kiva partner, D-MIRO  in Guayaquil, Ecuador.  If you would like to know more about D-MIRO please visit the Partner page or Lend!


Elevated cane home protects from landslides and thieves


Another view of the peri-urban Fortin district

Entry filed under: Ecuador, KF9 (Kiva Fellows 9th Class). Tags: , , , , , , , .

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  • […] experiences in South America. In my head I compared the cemented sidewalks of San Francisco to the unpaved roads of Guayaquil (Ecuador), the social-media savvy beautician to the homelier “Chipas” vendor in Asuncion, and […]

  • 2. Haleh  |  28 November 2009 at 09:31

    I am so proud of you. You are a Rock Star. Can you teach my kids to be just like you?

  • 3. Gundosjuy  |  27 November 2009 at 17:59

    Aloha! ggi

  • 4. Farimah Atlaschi  |  25 November 2009 at 15:40

    Kimia joon, we are so proud of you, keep up the good work. i wish for more people like you , whom participate and contribute to humanity . Be safe my dear, XOXO

  • 5. Linda Plater  |  11 November 2009 at 00:49

    I’ve been to Guyaquil en route to the Galapagos. Only touching down at the airport, I had no idea how needy the region is. Ecuadorians are resourceful and I hope the support of the new field partner will help make a difference in the lives of so many.

    All the best!

  • 6. Allison  |  9 November 2009 at 15:17

    Kimia, this is so amazing. Your words and photos are incredible. we love you!

  • 7. Haiyang  |  9 November 2009 at 12:50

    Kimia, you are my heroine! Can’t wait to hear more about your work!

  • […] week, I blogged about D-MIRO’s influence in the peri-urban zones of Guayaquil.  There is no way to describe […]

  • 9. Laura Peebles  |  6 November 2009 at 03:21

    I’ve been to Guayaquil, so I know exactly the type of houses you’re describing. I visited sponsored families with Childreach, so it wasn’t exactly a tourist trip. One family I visited had a “savings account”: a pig who could be fed leftovers now, and be eaten later. They had one of those houses, with a spectacular view over the valley.I look forward to funding loans in Guayaquil.

  • 10. farzin dunning  |  4 November 2009 at 10:17

    Hi Kimia jaan,
    Woww!! What a great thing you are doing for yourself and our world! You will treasure this valuable life experince for ever and reap the valuable consequences later on in your life.

    You also make this world a better place to live. I really admire your passion and dedication. Keep us posted about your unique experince.
    Love, Farzin

  • 11. Farshid  |  4 November 2009 at 05:21

    Kimia, what an eye opening blog, as we tend to take all the amenities granted here where we live. You are doing such a great deed my dear, and your dedication is really admirable. Keep up the good work and looking forward to your future blogs.

  • 12. Shahri  |  4 November 2009 at 04:24

    Hi Kimia, I’m so happy to see you with Kiva, I’m part of a team “Hope is Power” that supports Kiva. If you let me know when you have individuals that we can support I will bring it to our team’s attentiion. Congratulations for this wonderful work you are doing…great and worthy cause. You are a great role model, I’m proud of you. All the Best. Shahri

  • 13. bijan razi  |  4 November 2009 at 00:12


  • 14. Ati Yousefi  |  3 November 2009 at 19:23

    Kimi jan,
    Great report and i am proud of u.Geat pics.Hope to C U soon.

  • 15. ali dabiri  |  3 November 2009 at 17:10

    Dear Kimia,
    I am really impressed by your report. Is Kiva a non-profit organization? I know they accept loan ,how about donation?



  • 17. Emily Enberg  |  29 October 2009 at 13:56

    Kimia!! You’re my hero!! I love you!! Doing great work over there!

  • 18. Hami Raafat  |  28 October 2009 at 20:55

    What a great report, keep up the good work and keep us posted.

  • 19. Howard Zugman  |  28 October 2009 at 14:52

    Good post, Kimia. Thanks for pointing out the various degrees of “hurt” being experienced by third world inhabitants compared to (luck) us.

  • 20. bgoldfinger  |  28 October 2009 at 14:13

    Great pics, awesome post Kimia!

  • 21. Zal  |  28 October 2009 at 11:25

    Awesome work, Kimia! Another MFI in Ecuador. Congrats!

  • 22. Jan & John, KivaFriends  |  27 October 2009 at 17:56

    we need to constantly be reminded of the safety nets we have in our affluent countries. other people do not have that luxury and during an economic crisis like we are seeing, they must be struggling so hard. thanks for reminding us that even with less, we still have more than enough. jan (Canada)

  • 23. Matthew  |  27 October 2009 at 16:11

    Great pictures, keep up the good work. When G and I come to visit, we’ll stay in one of those cane homes!!

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