Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Partner Profile: Caja Rural Señor de Luren

Kiva works with existing microfinance institutions, which we call Field Partners, to fund loans to low income entrepreneurs all over the world. This is the first in a series of "Partner Profiles" that we'll be sharing here from time to time.

Field Partner: Caja Rural Señor de Luren

Location: Peru

Joined Kiva in: October 2009

Special circumstances: In August 2007, an 8.0-magnitude earthquake hit the city of Ica, where Caja Luren is located. Over two years later, Kiva Fellow Josh Wilcox explains that reconstruction has been patchy: it is commonplace to see a pile of rubble, a bustling restaurant, and a partially built house all in the same vicinity. In addition to the widespread lack of housing insurance, this is due in part to the misallocation of government grants for rebuilding. Even among those who received grants, many did not receive enough to finish the job, leaving the people of Ica needing “all the funds and help they can get,” according to Josh.

Kiva capital impact: With the help of funds from Kiva lenders, Caja Luren is providing lower-interest loans to borrowers who are still struggling to rebuild from the devastation of an earthquake that hit the city of Ica over two years ago. In October 2009, Caja Luren began providing lower interest loans to its Kiva borrowers, many of whom need loans to finish rebuilding their homes. As many of these borrowers’ homes are also their places of business, rebuilding their houses will bring the double benefit of providing livable housing and supporting their source of income.

Ingenuity in the face of adversity: As an example of the many ways people in Ica are working to overcome adversity, Josh tells the story of Delia Pasache Donayre, a mother of three whose husband lost his eyesight and is unable to work. Since their adobe home collapsed in the earthquake, she has engaged in a variety of businesses to sustain her family. She runs a convenience store in front of their partially rebuilt home, rents a car to a driver of a colectivo (a collective taxi with a fixed route and fare), and caters social events in the neighborhood.

Ica in 2007 (left) and in October 2009 (right).
Left photo by Daniel Kahn; right photo by Josh Wilcox.

Ongoing need for support: The 2007 earthquake has long since faded from the focus of international news, but the people of Ica are still dealing with its repercussions. The example of Ica illustrates the need for long-term support—in addition to initial relief—for reconstruction following a natural disaster. Haiti will likely have a similar need for support in the coming years as it rebuilds following the earthquake that struck there on January 12.

To make a loan to an entrepreneur from Caja Luren in Peru, click here.