Accion Ambassadors Blog

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Making Friends on the Road

Outside the arrivals terminal at the Medellín airport, I was scanning the busy road for a bus that would take me to the center of town. My internet research had told me that a taxi would cost about 60,000 pesos. Though this translates to roughly $23, on my student budget I was determined to find the cheaper option. Sure enough, I located a bus with “Medellín Centro” painted in showy green letters in the window, and hopped on in exchange for a bargain 9,000-peso fare. I sat in one of the few remaining seats on the bus, next to an elderly nun wearing a habit and a warm smile. She asked with whom I was traveling, and, like all the Colombians that I had told about my long-weekend travel plans, expressed some surprise that I would travel alone. But, unlike those acquaintances in Bogotá who were concerned that I would be lonely traveling by myself, she told me that I was “brava y capaz” – brave and capable. We chatted as we descended into the green valley where Medellín is located, and this became one of many conversations I had with kind strangers on the road. Continue reading

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Disability Inclusion is Part of Financial Inclusion

While most of the talented Accion Ambassadors deployed this summer are taking what they learned from our June training and applying it to work for an Accion partner, I am in a more unique situation in that my internship will be conducted in an actual Accion office. With one week (out of the eight) I will be working in Bangalore, India, down, it is great to be able to report that my project is underway and that I have already been exposed to some of the best mangos and most popular chaat and dosa eateries in the vicinity.IMG_2845 Continue reading

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Acclimation: two weeks in the DR

It’s been two full weeks since I arrived in the Dominican Republic, and between the work weeks and weekends of tourism, there are a few things I’ve noticed and had to acclimate to:

The heat

It is HOT, I’m talking 90s (30s in Celsius), and the humidity is just brutal. If you’re right on the coast or in the mountains with a nice breeze you’re in great shape, but if you’re in the middle of Santo Domingo, your chances of feeling that breeze are a lot slimmer. Continue reading

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“My future is bright”: the story of Madam Olori E. Odidbo

The pride of every microfinance institution is to know that its  support brings change to the lives of its micro-entrepreneurs and other low-income earners in society. This motivates microfinance institutions like Accion Microfinance Bank in Nigeria to want to do more. Continue reading

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The First Week in Bogotá: A Crash Course in Microfinance and Spanish


As my plane was landing in Bogotá late Sunday night, it was nearly 1am, and I was absolutely ready to fall asleep. The previous week had been spent in a harried frenzy, finishing my final exams, moving out of my apartment, and preparing for ten weeks in Bogotá. Obviously, sleep had not been a priority during the days leading up to my trip. So, when the driver from Accion picked me up and began telling me all about the city, it was easy to blame my inability to coherently respond on my sleepy state. As I tried to formulate answers to his questions, however, I quickly realized just how out of practice I was with my Spanish. I felt like the simplest words were hanging right in front of me, and I couldn’t quite reach them. Luckily, despite my inadequate language skills, the driver was kind and welcoming, as has been every person that I have met in Colombia so far. Continue reading


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