Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Some photos from Managua, Nicaragua

Hi All!

Michelle from the Latin America team again.

As I'm with poor connectivity, and have had little time to write, I figured I'd upload a few pictures while I get it together to put some of my experiences into words. I hope you enjoy them!

Me with the staff of our newest partner in Nicaragua, CEPRODEL. These are the field staff that came into Managua from across the country to be trained on how to use the Kiva website, and they will begin to upload client profiles to the site over the next few weeks. Thats me on the far left, middle row!

Pictured here are the community leader (in the back), and the "promoter" of a very marginalized slum in Managua. These 2 work with a new potential partner of ours in Nicaragua, AFODENIC, that I spent the morning with today. They have an amazing model wherein they work with the local informal leadership of the urban slums to enter into the community and administer tiny loans to community members. This woman is the most well-respected of the slums 1000+ people, and when she asks for something, it gets done (like paying back loans!!!)

The kitchen of one of AFODENIC's borrowers in the urban slums of Managua. This woman is on her 6th loan with this MFI, and she started with nothing, working her way up by selling tortillas to her neighbors and friends.

Life after a conference: The good : tons of interest in Kiva! The bad: many emails to write (late night wireless sessions) The ugly: millions of business cards to file and try not to loose in the shuffle from country to country.

Enjoying some pupusas with the staff of Fundacion Paraguaya after the IDB conference in San Salvador. Amazing spot with great food and lovely company!!

30+ years ago, a massive earthquake rattled Managua, leveling the city's center and destroying hundreds of thousands of buildings, homes, businesses and vital infrastructure. The city has never quite recovered, and to this day there is no real "center" as resources for construction are few and far between. Pictured here is a 4-story building that was deemed inhabitable after the earthquake, and continues to house some of the city's poorest families, many of whom are microfinance clients.

Thats the picture set for now. I hope you enjoy them and stay tuned for more tales from the field soon!