Working for a travel company is eye-opening in so many ways. Not only do you come across some of the most beautiful places and people but you are also exposed to the other side.
For me, my experiences in South America and traveling, have opened my eyes to different ways of living and in some instances communities that endure economic hardship everyday. Part of our mission as a travel company is sustainability and to us this term includes fostering cultural sustainability in South America. Knowmad feels strongly about spreading the love and trying to organically spread economic opportunity. But with today’s technology there are a variety of ways to lend a hand without even getting off the couch. Micro-lending, in which you offer a ‘loan’ without interest to small-business entrepreneurs almost anywhere in the world, is a simple way for you to have a chance at directly impacting someone’s life. Knowmad works with the non-profit Kiva, whose mission is helping connect people through lending to alleviate poverty.
Last year we made contributions to Angel, Manuel, and Mrs. Maxima (read their stories here) and we are happy to report all three loans are almost all paid back! Continuing the Knowmad tradition, this Christmas we made three micro-loans to individuals throughout South America again. I urge you to read their stories below and consider micro-lending in 2014…
Our South America Micro-Loans
Elmer Yovani is 37 years old and lives with his wife and children in the district of Cayalti. This community is known for its large sand and gravel deposits, which residents use to build housing. The community works farming, trading, and raising animals. It is located in Chiclayo province, which belongs to the Lambayeque region of Peru’s northern coast.
He works providing public transportation services on the rickshaw he owns. He has been doing this for over five years, so he is well known in the area. He is an enterprising father and has requested a loan of 1,000 nuevos soles in order to purchase spare parts for his vehicle so that he can continue providing safe service to his customers.
Agapito is 38 years old and lives with his family in the village of El Sondor, a rural community in the district of Pomahuaca. The weather is hot in this area, and residents work farming, particularly growing fruit trees, rice, and coffee. They also work selling these products an raising livestock. It is located in Jaén province, which belongs to the Cajamarca region of Peru’s northern mountains.
His business is farming, specifically growing coffee, which he has been doing for ten years alongside his wife. They also work raising cattle and growing corn and cassava. They work hard on their business.
Agapito has requested a 1,500 nuevos soles loan from Edpyme Alternativa in order to buy fertilizer for his coffee plantation and to pay for labor to maintain it. This will allow him to yield an adequate amount of product to offer his customers.
Estelfina is 52 years old and lives with her nephews in the district of Cayalti, whose residents work farming, trading, and raising animals. This community is well known for its green landscapes and large sand and gravel deposits. It is located in Chiclayo province, which belongs to the Lambayeque region on Peru’s northern coast.
She owns a small bakery where she offers an assortment of bread, cookies, sweets, and other items. She also has food for sale, which she prepares herself. She is known in her field for her good work. Estelfina has requested a loan of 3,000 nuevos soles in order to improve the shop where she sells her products so that she can have a nice place to receive her customers.
Photos were supplied by Kiva and these stories were translated by Kiva volunteers in South America.
Nos Vemos, Lisa
Lisa is the Media Manager at Knowmad Adventures, a company dedicated to creating unique, private and custom trips in South America. She studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina in 2012 and is continually planning her next adventure. Read Lisa’s biography and more about the Knowmad team.