“They are lined up around the block”

5 August 2010 at 14:50 10 comments

Great things are happening here at EDESA in San José, Costa Rica.  A quick rundown of what EDESA does and how that ties back to Kiva and lenders like you:

EDESA is a microfinance institution in San José, Costa Rica.  It is located in a lovely house-turned-office and staffed by several dedicated and energetic employees.  Kiva is one of EDESA’s several funders.

EDESA lends money to well over 100 Empresas de Credito Communal (ECCs) throughout Costa Rica.  ECCs – Communal Credit Companies in English – are small credit organizations created and run by the very people who borrow from them.

ECCs ultimately disperse the loans posted on Kiva.org.  You lend to Kiva – Kiva lends to EDESA – EDESA lends to ECCs throughout Costa Rica – and ECCs lend to entrepreneurs.  Although this setup adds another step to the loan process, it allows EDESA to reach vastly more individuals while promoting community participation in the credit process.

Steven, EDESA’s Kiva coordinator, received a call yesterday from a new ECC in Costa Rica’s southern region.  Following the friendly formalities that exemplify Costa Rican culture, Steven asked

“Do you have many people who are looking for loans?”

The reply was instant.

“They are lined up around the block.”

Steven and I are making the 7 hour trek tomorrow to introduce ourselves to this young ECC and explain to them how Kiva works and what we need to do to get them on board.  We can’t wait.

Soaring mountains outside of EDESA's office in San José. "Can you walk in those mountains?" I asked Steven, to which he replied, "What mountains?" Small potatoes, I guess! Visible in the center of the photo is the massive new soccer stadium currently under construction in San José.

John Murphy is a Kiva Fellow serving at EDESA in San José, Costa Rica.  He recently graduated from Dartmouth College with degrees in Economics and Environmental Studies.

Entry filed under: KF12 (Kiva Fellows 12th Class). Tags: , , , , , .

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  • 4. johnfmurphy  |  7 August 2010 at 17:00

    Update: trip was great. We met with about 30 members of this ECC, explained to them the Kiva process, and came home with a number of Kiva loan applications in our hands. Many were quite small – on the order of $500 – $600.

    @David, loans will be posted as soon as EDESA completes its usual due diligence. Keep an eye out!

    • 5. Ann  |  9 August 2010 at 01:11

      John, way to jump in there and start spreading Kiva!

  • 6. brittanygoesglobal  |  6 August 2010 at 10:12

    Love it John. You are awesome. Kiva Love!

    • 7. johnfmurphy  |  9 August 2010 at 07:30

      Thanks Brit, back at ya.

  • 8. david oglaza  |  6 August 2010 at 05:45

    Its good to see the demand is still high for micro credit in Costa Rica- get posting loans my friend!!!

  • 9. donaldhart  |  5 August 2010 at 20:03

    Safe travel’s John — looking forward to hearing how the trip goes.


  • 10. Cameron Morris  |  5 August 2010 at 15:01

    Great to hear things are going well at EDESA. Such a cool lending methodology. Looking forward to seeing loans come in from another ECC. Keep up the good work!!!


    PS do you know who’s financing the construction of the new soccer stadium? HINT: the same people that are financing the new stadium in Mozambique.

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