Current Kiva volunteer Alexis Guild collaborates with IMPRO and Pro Woman. Her volunteer work lets her connect with borrowers. The money allows women to become independent and gain representation and strength in politics, she said.
   "Microfinance has a lot of history in Bolivia, especially with marginalized populations. It's important to get them access to capital so they can become entrepreneurs and financially independent," Guild said.
   Still, Guild hears stories of success and failure. Though it's helped people, she said she realizes that microfinance isn't the end to all poverty. More people need to realize that, she said.
   Critics like María Galindo, a social activist in Bolivia, consider microfinance a ploy by capitalists to exploit the poor. She claims women often become debtors, which diminishes their hard work.
   Galindo believes microfinance institutions deceive women and lead them into debt. She describes the women who enter the microfinance world as women of lower education, who are unemployed and single parents.
   "That woman does not [want to] become a businesswoman," she said in Spanish. "That woman wants to survive in any way. … [Capitalism gives] women a pill that says, 'No, no, you are not an unemployed woman. You are a micro-business woman.' Then they give the woman credit."
   That credit carries a high interest rate microcredit loaners claim is necessary for the model to work. For loans distributed by Agrocapital, the interest rate can be as much as 30 percent, which can be a lot for entrepreneurs who are just learning the ropes of owning a business.
   Vanessa Aguilar has been selling fruit alongside her mother, Amalia, since she was a teenager. In 2005, she took a risk, like her mother, and took out a micro-loan. But this time she borrowed from a microfinance organization, Agrocapital.
   For the Aguilars, persistence was a deciding factor in their success. Although Vanessa took out a second loan, the money allowed her to offer a wider selection of produce. She has been able to repay the loans in a timely manner, even with interest. And now the Aguilars are dreaming up new ventures to improve their stall.