Central America, Spring ^10

April 23, 2010

Zona Franca, Happy Earth Day! Happy birthday Daniel a little while ago!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — samanthabass @ 7:34 pm

Yesterday for class we went to visit the Zona Franca (Free Trade Zone) near the airport. The manager showed us the promotional video that they use to attract investors. Nicaragua started opening Free Trade Zones after the Contra-War ended and the Sandinistas were voted out of office.

We toured a maquilla (textile-producing factory). The space used to be rented by a Taiwanese company, but they moved to China last year to increase profits. Now the space is rented by WalMart. The manager gave us a tour of all the stages of production, we saw the men and women cutting the jeans pattern out of sheets of jean material (from China), sewing, applying elastic, washing, drying, placing the tag on. Each person has a specific job – so only sewing one part of the jeans, sewing on buttons, etc. They were making women’s capris size 4x that were bright yellow and the tags said $15, hecho en Nicaragua. These ones, but in yellow. I couldn’t take pictures inside for security reasons.

There’s a been a bit of a political quarrel here the past few days, too. Pro-Sandinistas are blockading the National Parliament to stop opposition politicians from overturning a decree that would extend the terms of 25 top magistrates and civil servants. If their terms are extended, it’s likely that Ortega will be able to run for reelection in 2011, which was previously unconstitutional. It’s a little impassioned, Nicaraguans have a history of popular uprising, participation, etc. But don’t worry it’s really far from where I am and contained. There won’t be another revolution anytime soon, probably. I can hear the noises every now and then.

I’m going to Masaya and Granada tomorrow for the day. I’ve also been drawing a lot of ‘gatitoflors’ with my four year old host-brother. That’s part kitten, part flower.


1 Comment »

  1. Sounds like your host family is a lot of fun. Be sure to take lots of pictures.

    Comment by Mark Bass — April 24, 2010 @ 10:54 pm

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