Update from the Field: Carnival, Collaboration + Cheese-Making

14 March 2011 at 00:45 8 comments

Compiled by Alexis Ditkowsky, KF14, South Africa

Fellows, tourists, and locals celebrated Carnival all over Latin America (Colombia pictured)

This past week was all about collaboration: Fellows coordinating across continents to profile entrepreneurs and organizations who believe International Women’s Day should be every day and community members coming together to celebrate Carnival in all of its elaborate glory. We learned about public health in Peru, making cheese and cigars in Nicaragua, the impact of climate change in Bolivia, and the challenges faced by a microcredit saleswoman in Guatemala. Life as a Kiva Fellow is busy as always!

Carnival de Barranquilla
Country: Colombia / Fellows: Nick Hamilton (KF14) & John Gwillim (KF14)

Celebrate Carnival de Barranquilla vicariously through Nick’s words and John’s stunning photos. You’ll feel like you’re right in the middle of the action.

Celebrating Women around the World!
Countries: Cambodia, Ghana, Rwanda, Armenia, Bolivia, Mexico, Kyrgyzstan / Fellows: Stephanie Sibal (KF14), Mei-ing Cheok (KF14), Adam Cohn (KF14), Caree Edson (KF14), Klaartje Vreeken (KF14), John Farmer (KF14), Charlie Wood (KF14)

Supporting a family entails enormous personal and financial sacrifices for many women but economic empowerment can help alleviate some of the burden. This group post highlights the successes and challenges faced by select women from around the world and organizations and people who are committed to making fundamental improvements in their lives.

Empowering women through microfinance in Ghana
Country: Ghana / Fellow: Mei-ing Cheok (KF14)

Mei-ing lays out the legal and cultural roadblocks to female financial empowerment in Ghana and the many ways her partner microfinance institution (MFI) is dedicated to its clients, from loans to savings to academic scholarships for clients’ children.

Celebrating Carnival in the Andes
Countries: Peru, Bolivia / Fellows: Geeta Uhl (KF14), Noreen Giga (KF14), Sherrise Pond (KF14), Clara Visser (KF14)

After your trip to Colombia for Carnival, head down to Peru and Bolivia to see how they celebrate it in the Andes. Check out the traditional costumes, paint-covered Fellows, multitude of parades, and so much more in the photos.

Mud torrent, climate change and food crisis in Bolivia
Country: Bolivia / Fellow: Clara Visser (KF14)

Clara’s partner microfinance institutions (MFIs) are working hard to assist clients who are suffering from the impact of rising food prices and climate change, including recent mudslides in La Paz that destroyed at least 1500 homes.

“No Pasa Nada”
Country: Peru / Fellow: Noreen Giga (KF14)

“No Pasa Nada” is a ubiquitous phrase in Peru and it’s now the cornerstone of a recent public health campaign targeting HIV/AIDS discrimination. It’s catchy, it’s clear, and it sends the message that “Nothing is going to happen, discrimination is ridiculous.”

The Microcredit Saleswoman
Country: Guatemala / Fellow: Gustavo Visalli (KF14)

Gustavo shadows a loan officer in the highlands of Guatemala and discovers a very different dynamic between door-to-door saleswoman and potential clients than he’s used to in the United States.

Say Cheese For Kiva Student Loans
Country: Nicaragua / Fellow: Karen Gray (KF14)

Karen conducts important taste-testing at a local university where students have invested small loans from Kiva’s partner microfinance institution (MFI) into making cheese and selling it on campus.

What are they smoking in Nicaragua?
Country: Nicaragua / Fellow: Karen Gray (KF14)

A double-header from Karen. After learning about making cheese, she visits a tobacco-grower (and Kiva borrower) who makes cigars in Esteli, Nicaragua.

Previous updates from the field:
Man’s Day, Singing Fellows + Learning How to Count
Videos, Epic Commutes + Going Beyond Microfinance
“Christmas”, Trekking, Adversity + Good Company


Plus more pictures from this past week:

Colombia (by John Gwillim)

Peru (by Geeta Uhl)

Canasteras Group and Loan Officer

Guatemala (by Gustavo Visalli)

Nicaragua (by Karen Gray)

Bolivia (by Klaartje Vreeken)

Ghana (by Mei-ing Cheok)

Peru (by Noreen Giga)

Entry filed under: Armenia, Bolivia, Cambodia, Colombia, Ghana, Guatemala, KF14 (Kiva Fellows 14th Class), Kyrgyz Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Rwanda. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

What are they smoking in Nicaragua? Kiva Fellows by the Numbers


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