Category Archives: Colombia

Choosing Who To Lend To On Kiva & Win A Kiva Gift Card

Jose Octavio Henao

I wrote a bit about joining the Milepoint Kiva Lending Team last week. In the post I talk a little about Milepoint and Kiva. You can read my post here.

After signing up for Kiva I had to figure out who to loan to… Do I just choose someone that others on the Milepoint team are picking? Do I pick someone close to their borrowing goal? I really wasn’t sure how to come to this decision with so many people on Kiva having legitimate needs for the loan.

I decided to set some criteria for who I would choose and decided it would be based on three things:

  1. They need to live in a country that I’ve been to (not so hard- I’ve been to around 50 countries)
  2. They should be about half way to their borrowing goal
  3. I had to feel that the Kiva loan would really change things for them. (I wasn’t looking for a successful person looking to expand their business)

I narrowed down my search to people living in Colombia, Kenya and Uganda. I started reading lots of similar stories which made it hard for me to choose who to pick until I came across Jose Octavio Henao.

Jose lives in Colombia and is looking for a loan of $550. At the time of my loan he was around half way to his goal. From his Kiva profile, he seems like someone that just needs things to turn for the better in some way or the other. His wife left him a while back and he is taking care of two children on his own. His business, a small food cart was robbed of it’s goods and his money leaving him close to bankruptcy. He needs this loan to buy products to sell on his cart so he can start earning an income again.

I hope that my small loan will help Jose get back on his feet and revive his business. If you would like to see Jose Octavio Henao’s Kiva profile, click here.

***Reminder***
Enter my contest by 2/17/12 for a chance to win a Kiva $25 Gift Card Here.

Old Boots Sculpture- Cartagena, Colombia

Before going to visit the Fort of San Felipe in Cartagena, I was checking out the souvenirs being sold outside. After making small talk in my very limited Spanish with some of the locals, one guy told my wife and I to go around the corner to see the “zapatos”. We weren’t looking to buy shoes but figured it was worth the five minute walk to see what the guy was talking about.
After walking to the back of the fort, this is what we saw:

The sculpture seems to be a popular stop for locals and tourists. I hadn’t seen anything about it online or in my guide book but was glad this guy told us to go check it out. It definitely made for a fun photo-op!

The sculpture was made to commemorate local poet Luis Carlos Lopez. He spent most of his life in Cartagena and wrote a poem to honor the city . Right next to the statue is a plaque with that poem:

A Mi Ciudad Nativa (To My Native City) 

Odd Street Vendor: Cell Phone Booths- Cartagena, Colombia

While walking around Cartagena you’ll notice street vendors selling an endless list of items. You can find clothing, shoes, housewares, toys and all different foods- fruits, vegetables, cheeses, hot foods & sweets.
I found it pretty funny to see lots of people talking on cell phones that were attached to tables by a string. It turned out that these tables were pretty much what I call a Cell Phone Booth.
I’m guessing that in Cartagena most of the people don’t own cell phones and I didn’t seem to notice any traditional payphones anywhere so these booths made sense.
They also seem to be a pretty good deal as all calls are 99 Colombian Pesos, about $0.05 US

Sunset on the Amazon River

This photo was taken while we were heading back to our lodge after a long day of piranha fishing, swimming and spotting dolphins on the Amazon River in Peru. We had flown into Leticia, Colombia the day before and thought we would be basing our trip from there. Day trips didn’t seem like the best option so we booked a 2 night private trip that took us a couple of hours down the river into Peru.