Trip to Nicaragua

Posted on by magf1227

I’ve been in contact with a non-profit in Nicaragua since the beginning of September 2010.  They put me in contact with a woman who runs a small sewing cooperative just outside of the capital city of Managua and she put me in contact with a few crocheters and embroiderers in Granada and Masaya.  I am finally heading to Nicaragua to meet with everyone face to face and see if we can make a go at this part of the pashen collection project.

My husband and I first decided to travel around a little bit and enjoy some of what beautiful Nicaragua has to offer.  We went to Ometepe Island for a few days then to the city of Granada for a couple of days.

Volcano Concepcion on Ometepe Island

View from a little cafe on Ometepe

The path to the waterfalls (cascadas)

My husband and I enjoying some down time at Ojo de agua

After fun exploring, it was time for my husband to head back to the states and for me to get to work.

I first met the woman from the sewing cooperative who immediately took me to meet her friends who run a fabric recycling factory just 10 minutes from the Managua airport.  Scraps of all kinds of fabric sorted into what seemed to be mile-high ceiling-touching piles; sorted by color, weight, type, etc.  This fabric comes from all over and is purchased by people all over the world to be repurposed.

The last few days have consisted of meetings with the various people I have been communicating with, fabric store visits, a meeting with owners of an industrial sewing machine shop, a tour of two organic cotton farms with an extremely knowledgeable agricultural engineer, a meeting with the non-profit group who I’ve been talking to for so long, and an honest analysis of the project.

Organic Cotton Field - 4 weeks before it's ready

Raul Machin - Agricultural Engineer originally from Cuba/Amazing Educator

Did you know?…

Cotton grows first as a flower

Develops into a fruit called a "cotton boll"

Then bursts open when it's mature

Even after so many communications, being here in the middle of all of it and meeting all of these people face to face has added a lot of different angles to the mix.  The toughest of all issues seems to be the financing to get an additional industrial machine and how to get the fabric I want.  Unless I purchase enormous amounts of fabric (which is unrealistic for me at this stage of startup), my next option is to purchase directly from the shops.  The shops may receive a type of fabric one day and when they completely sell out of it, there is no definite time that can be promised for the fabric to arrive again.  You walk into the fabric shops and there are piles upon piles of bolts of material wrapped and stacked on tables, shelves and the floor; most of them are not labeled to indicate content, origin, or anything of the sort.  This is Central America.  A reworking of the plan with regard to fabric is in order.

I didn’t come here thinking this was going to be easy and anyone who knows me knows I don’t give up easily so, (as I say often) if it is meant to be, I will find a way…

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