By Josh Wilcox, KF9 Peru

Three flights, one bus, and two taxi rides behind me, I arrived safely in the southern Peruvian city of Ica.  Surrounded by a desert and thousands of miles from Monday Night Football with too much luggage and guitar in hand, I was a bit shocked when I found out the hotel I was hoping to temporarily stay at had collapsed in the formidable Peru earthquake in 2007.  Thanks a lot Lonely Planet!

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Fortunately I just asked a taxi driver to take me to an affordable hotel he would recommend.  After chatting it up a bit with him in the car and telling him I was going to be working with the microfinance institution Caja Rural here in Ica, he snatched a piece of mail out of his glove box that read “Caja Rural” on the letterhead.  He proceeded to tell me he is a current borrower from Caja Rural and is hoping to purchase a second taxi with his third loan.  He then pulled out a picture of a 1936 Opel that he hopes to use as his second taxi.  I have been a volunteer Kiva translator since February and have seen numerous stories such as his, but I was pleasantly caught off guard to finally hear an amazing story of a Kiva borrower first hand in such an unexpected setting!

Before I forget to introduce myself, my name is Josh Wilcox and I am part of the most recent Kiva Fellows class (KF9) to hit the field across the globe.  I will be helping set up a recently approved new partner in Ica, Peru, officially named Caja Rural Señor de Luren.  They have yet to start Day 1 of their pilot stage so I am in the fortunate position to experience the beginning stages of the Kiva process.

Below is the first chapter of a video diary I hope to maintain throughout the duration of my fellowship.  Enjoy!

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Loans to Caja Rural will be available soon, but in the meantime check out our other loans from South America here.

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