Presbyterian News Service: Reaping what they sew
Nicaraguan tee-shirt co-op gives women employment, empowerment.
MANAGUA, Nicaragua — The Nueva Vida sewing co-op here is bustling with activity. Sewing machines are whirring, scissors are clipping and a light breeze moves through the building’s open windows and doors.
It’s a Friday morning, the last day of the work week. But the end of the week doesn’t mean the end of work for the co-op members, who often stay late to discuss business issues or hold board meetings. Saturdays are spent studying up on business practices.
But all that hard work is worth it for the co-op members, said Julia Yadira Vallejos, a co-op member.
Nueva Vida provides a tranquil, safe, consistent job and environment for its 33 employees, Yadira said.
Those are valuable qualities for the employees of the co-op, which was founded by a group of women in 2001 as a response to 1998’s Hurricane Mitch. Many of the founders and their families lived on the edge of Lake Managua, which flooded after the hurricane. They moved to a new neighborhood after the storm and eventually got help from a U.S. faith-based organization, Jubilee House Community.
The women decided to sell T-shirts after conducting market research and finding that the products seemed to be a sustainable business. ...
...One such client is the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which often purchases large quantities of T-shirts from Nueva Vida. The 2007 Presbyterian Youth Triennium T-shirts were made by Nueva Vida. ...
... To order Nueva Vida T-shirts in any quantity, visit the Presbyterian Distribution Service.