Partner Description:

Plasticos Foundation is a nonprofit volunteer organization that provides reconstructive plastic surgery to low-income individuals with correctable congenital or acquired health issues like cleft lips, burns and more. Often with a single surgery, the patient is transformed from a discriminated member to a productive member of their village. Founded in 1998, Plasticos Foundation  also trains and assists surgeons and other medical providers around the world.

To date, the organization has sent missions to Guatemala, Ecuador, Brazil, Cuba, India, Laos Cambodia, Bhutan and other locations. Its founder, Larry Nichter, has been a reconstructive surgeon for nearly three decades. He has led more than 60 Overseas medical missions. Since 1998 they have all been through the Plasticos Foundation, overseeing treatment of more than 3,000 patients and the training of scores of physicians to be self sufficient.

Reconstructive surgery services are especially important in Guatemala. Even though it is Central America’s most populous country, it has no reconstructive plastic surgery training programs. Waiting lists at government hospitals are years long, and most patients can’t afford the cost of operations elsewhere. As a result, most people with correctable conditions have no options and are often ostracized.



A child with a cleft lip in need of surgery.

In Guatemala, Plasticos Foundation works very closely with Asimedic, an on-the-ground partner it helped establish. Asimedic tracks documentation and accounting for each patient, while Plasticos Foundation determines which patients are eligible for surgery based on medical and financial criteria and assists in training when necessary.

A unique lending approach:

Many patients prefer to take out loans to finance reconstructive surgeries of cleft lips and palates, burn contractures, acquired and congenital hand and limb deformities, and other procedures.

With Plasticos Foundation’s help, Kiva loans enable low-income families in Guatemala’s San Marcos district to obtain payment plans for reconstructive surgeries. After these operations, previously stigmatized children can go to school and adults can re-enter the workforce.

Watch this video about the organization’s work and impact:



By combining reconstructive surgery with microfinance, Plasticos Foundation and Kiva are developing a local market for reconstructive surgeries: patients who receive treatment are more likely to find employment, while medical staff gets paid for their work.

At the same time, local surgeons, anesthesiologists and nurses receive invaluable training in reconstructive surgical techniques and patient care. The objective is to create local expertise that can continue to make a difference after Plasticos Foundation volunteers leave.

Media courtesy of Plasticos Foundation.




Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Apr 1, 2013 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $3,900 $597,373,850
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $670,325
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 644
Amount of Paying Back Loans $0 $120,630,450
Number of Paying Back Loans 0 128,489
Amount of Ended Loans $3,900 $476,073,075
Number of Ended Loans 4 603,944
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 3.69%
Amount in Arrears $0 $2,916,726
Outstanding Portfolio $0 $79,118,114
Number of loanDelinquent 0 10,801
Default Rate 67.22% 1.12%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $2,622 $5,345,655
Amount of Ended Loans $3,900 $476,073,075
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 4 16,811
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.09%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $538,749
Refund Rate 0.00% 0.76%
Amount of Refunded Loans $0 $4,539,725
Number of Refunded Loans 0 5,066

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 80.00% 74.20%
Average Loan Size $975 $418
Average Individual Loan Size $975 $656
Average Group Loan Size $0 $1,829
Average number of borrowers per group 0 8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $4,155 $3,427
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 23.47% 12.21%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 0.21 days 5.65 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $4,728.07 $74.06
  Average Loan Term 49.4 months 10.37 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 4 298,204
  Journaling Rate 0.00% 42.46%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.08
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 1.86

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2011 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower 0% APR 31.00% PY 33.26% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) N/A 4.5% -1.45%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 18.00% 40.88%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Robert Burns
Luis Fuentes
Tim Glassett
Sol Khazani
Ann Nguyen
Larry Nichter
Bette Palovchik