As a Kiva Fellow, I had the opportunity to critically examine the challenges and triumphs of using microfinance to combat poverty in the developing world. I’ve written a number of articles about bringing resources to underserved populations through financial inclusion.
The air in San Sebastián Tepalcatepec, a farming community in the south-central Mexican state of Puebla, is hot and dry and, frankly, reeks. Alexander Eaton rolls down the window of his pickup truck and inhales. “This smells like opportunity,” he tells Quartz with a grin.
Hortensia and I trudge up the winding dirt path toward a steep hillside dotted with tiny concrete homes. Clotheslines strung with brightly-colored skirts and shirts bake in the midday Mexican sun. A faded Coca-Cola sign instructs us to ¨¡refrescate ya!¨ for six pesos. Three turkeys strut by, gobbling hello, and a donkey quietly munches on some grass.
It's festival season in the farming community of San Lorenzo Toxico, Ixtlahuaca, about an hour north of Mexico City. The windows of the church in the center of town brim with colorful flower arrangements. I wander around the plaza outside the main chapel, snapping photographs of the bountiful altars
Marie Georges is a 45-year-old Haitian mother of six. Until the earthquake devastated her country one year ago, she ran a small business out of her home that included a corn garden and some livestock. After the disaster, she lost everything.
Blankets and wall-hangings exemplify the meaning of "homemade" at Isabel Martínez Mendoza's tapestry studio in Teotitlán, a small indigenous town in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. The colorful dyes are made of hand-crushed nutshells and fruits; wool is shorn directly from the sheep farm across the road and brushed flat before Mendoza's daughters spin it into yarn and weave it into their giant wooden looms.
The smell of melting butter and baking dough wafts through the town of Tetela, a small community nestled among the sugarcane fields in Oaxaca, Mexico. Two neighborhood boys, one clutching a basketball and one walking a rusty bicycle, amble up to Miguel and Irma's front gate, pressing their noses in the spaces between the metal.