Merchants Hopes To Make A Profit
                                                                                                                                                                                


Since the commercialization of the May Pole celebration, merchants from the Pacific make the long journey to Bluefields to set up tents and sell their goods in the central park. The merchants pay just a little less than $400.00US to sell for the entire month of May. On the outside of the park there were three tents each run by a black family selling beer and soft drink while entertaining the patrons with reggae, soca and the new hit in Bluefields "Table for Two"




photo: bluefieldspulse

As I walked through the park I noticed that there weren't much activity going on. Not much consumers. I wondered if the merchants were selling enough to cover their fee and at the same time make a profit for themselves. The first stalls I saw when I entered the park were the food stalls, deep fried chicken with rice and beans a la Managua style and bajo, the unfinished run down as I call it. Then I ran into the young man pictured here. He was shot in the knees by a local merchants after police failed to arrest him for repeatedly stealing from him. He uses a wooden home made walker to get around. A lady who asked not to be identified said when she saw him she stopped and stared and he said to her "don't worry miss. I am doing fine. I am getting better." The lady said she kindly replied, "I am not worried about that. I am  worried that you are getting better because you are going to go back and do the same thing again."

 


 As I move toward the central part of the park I saw a music tent selling illegally burned audio cd's. Selling illegally burned cd's in Nicaragua has become a common practice among merchants and non merchants alike. In Bluefields you can walk into a music store and find yourself a burn cd of any artist you can think of. This illegal practice is done without the fear of prosecution because the government is not enforcing the copyright law.The only time you realize the cd is burned is when you open the jewel case and look at the back of the cd with the writing "CD R". The jewel case looks authentic but reality hits when you open it. This is call piracy. Some people think of it as smart business. I think it stinks and urge the government to crack down on it.



photo: bluefieldspulse

 

As I left the park I saw a tall man on the steps of the local municipal building. He was displaying some authentic work of art on a little wooden table. His name is Julio Lopez. He is a crafstman from Orinoco who now lives in Bluefields. All of his work are hand carved and they are truly a work of art. Julio is one of the few who continue to do this type artisan work on the Caribbean coast with the help of a few young men. Julio explained to us that he uses rose wood for his work. During the month of May he displays his work to sell and at the same time expose what we have on the Caribbean coast. He said all the work is done by themselves with no help from any cultural institution. When asked about the sale, he said it was slow and hope by month end that it would get better. Mr. Lopez said he always encourages the youth to learned his work. He hopes for some type of ONG or someone to set up a local where they can work and maybe export their work of art. Julio said he is willing to teach others for a minimal fee since he doesn't have a regular job. 

          
Julio Lopez, photo:bluefieldspulse

 


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