Saturday, February 27, 2010

My Latest Kiva Loan

I had a small credit in my Kiva account so I went on their site looking for a deserving recipient for a loan. I found a group of four young people in Bolivia, two male and two female, who were starting a carpentry shop. They are talented in making wooden bed frames and bedside tables which they will sell in the market to earn money to help support their families. With this $800 Kiva loan they hope to buy a hammer, a plane, varnish and wood, their most important commodity. Individual Kiva loans are $25 from each participant and when all the money has been collected, it is passed on to the recipient. Banking is done by PayPal who have waived all fees as their contribution to the microloan initiative so every penny goes to the recipient. In about two hours, all the money had been raised and passed on. Bed frames and tables are probably already being made and several families will soon eat better. This loan will provide employment for four young people! What better way to spend $25?

In the two years of my participation, I have made 25 loans and never had a loan even partially defaulted on. All have been or are being repaid in full. I get no interest from this money but get the satisfaction of knowing that I have contributed in a very small but real way to making life better for a person somewhere in the world. There are loan recipients waiting in almost every developing and third world country so it is easy to find someone deserving. I try to keep my contributions in the Central and South America areas but have also made a couple of loans to people in Africa.

Here is my latest group in Bolivia. They are Omar Chambi Quispe, Ruben Choque Chura, Vaneza Condori Mamani and Betty Nayda Memdoza Quispe. They are in the back and some of their parents are in front. Omar is 18 and is the leader of the group. He has been making bed frames and bedside tables in his father’s shop for five years, since he was 13. The quality of his product is very good and his business is now well enough established to allow him to open his own shop and bring his sister and friends in as workers to help their families as well. His ambition makes my tiny contribution seem pretty insignificant. $25 is all it takes to directly help real people like these in Developing Nations.


If you have an unused $25 I cannot think of a better place to invest it. The rewards are great and when the money is repaid, you can withdraw it or re-lend it like I do. Go to There is really no reason not to.

After you sign up, why not join Felipe, Steve, Paul and a bunch more of us on the Ian Lee Dickson Kiva Group? You still get credit for all your individual loans but the group also gets credit. Join the Mexico Bloggers and friends crowd! Here is a link to our group.


  1. What a neat idea. I had not heard of this type of assitance. Thanks for sharing. P&J

  2. A great idea indeed. RVliving, part of the Kiva concept is joining a group on the site. Señor Croft is a member of the Ian Lee Dickson group. Me too. Feel free to join us.

  3. Here is the URL for the Dickson team. Of course, you have to register on the site first.

  4. Good idea Felipe! I have edited the post to include this idea.

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