Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Viva Nueva Vida!
By: Caitlin Byrne
A few days ago, I was struck by a quote I saw on the wall of the public hospital, which exclaimed in the beautiful language of Spanish, “No existen puertas que el amor no abra.” Translation: “There are no doors that love can not open.” Today I discovered that these eloquently phrased words embody the inspiring women who have quite literally put their blood, sweat, and tears into creating Nueva Vida (New Life). Nueva Vida is a Fair Trade Women’s Sewing Cooperative located in a Free Trade Zone in the neighborhood La Cuidad Sandino in Managua.
Nueva Vida began with 50 women standing under the shade of mango tree. These survivors were thanking God that they were blessed and had withstood the devastation of Hurricane Mitch. Although they had lost all of their material possessions they had not lost their lives and instead of cursing the heavens they were grateful. In 1998, more than 11,000 Nicaraguans and Hondurans lost their lives as a result of the horrific hurricane. According to Dealia, the eldest owner of Nueva Vida, “We had the strength to work and keep moving forward.” All the women needed was a helping hand. The hand that was extended to them belonged to Senor Miguel of Jubilee House; a faith based Non-Governmental Organization based in the United States. Senor Miguel offered the soon to be cooperative owners revolving funds with a plan of repayment. The catch? The women had to build the sewing cooperative themselves and would not be receiving any profit until their business was up and running. After hearing that they would not be receiving payment for their labor many women became discouraged. The group decreased their number from 50 to 11.
Love to all!