This past weekend was awesome. I got to travel to Lago Atitlan with the executive director of FAPE and his family to Pana and then on to Queztaltenango to visit some of his wife’s family. It proved to be an awesome way to get to know about FAPE informally, about Guatemala and how the Guatemalan culture changes the atmosphere of microfinance and how FAPE makes a difference in the lives of the people they serve.
Perhaps the most interesting thing I learned, advertising in microfinance, I will address in a later fellows blog (don’t worry I’ll post the link). But it was also interesting to note that because of the machismo in Guatemala, the women occasionally take out loans without their husbands knowledge, and if their husband finds out, he can beat them or asks for a cut of the loan. Not all men are created equal however, FAPE has many male clients that do well with their loans and ARE helping their families.
Tomorrow, I start work, and my prayer is that the rest of the KIVA fellows and myself will make a difference in the lives of the people and organizations we serve on behalf of KIVA.