Monday, October 12, 2009

Intermediate Latin America 201: Rich Coast, Costa Rica

If you don't know what's up with Costa Rica, have a look at this
previous article. Now you know Costa Rica is where Pura Vida rules everything. Yes, that is Pura Life. Aright, academia vamonos con la Third World vibes!

ラテンアメリカ中級 201: リッチコースト,コスタリカ

グローバルバナナ: Global Banana

Bananas taste good n are so global but have the bitter truth.

By living in the Third World like Costa Rica, you could feel that your perception on the world n globalization shifts from that of advanced countries like Japan n the US. Why? I think it's a stand point in an international society.

For example, bananas are obviously one of the top popular imported fruits you can buy at any grocery stores for 24/7 in advanced countries. Costa Rica too produces them as one of their main exports, and of course they earns big income.

In Costa Rica, many foreign companies including Banana Big Three, Chiquita, Del Monte, n Dole, own huge properties for plantations and they provide to the US n EU markets. This global banana relationship is very similar to the one with Japan and the Philippines.

So far, yeah, viva globalizacion, no? You buy land, hire locals, have them produce bananas, you import the product, n they get paid. Ok, everybody happy?

Now, at the field, you have this growing social issue. That is a health n environmental problem definitely caused by synthetic chemicals = 化学合成物質.

I learned this kind of social issue during the Latin American Reality field trip organized by Friends World Program / Global College in Costa Rica.

Where we visited was one of Dole plantations by Costa Rica's Caribbean region. In a flat n wet land, they grow bananas. We walked around and saw some operations like, cut, carry n wash bananas when it's still so green.

And that synthetic chemicals the trouble maker was behind their smile. Preservative, insecticides, n fertilizers are said to be the key players to be blamed for this issue, however, that the use of synthetic chemicals is part of our money making system by global companies, in this case Dole. So easy to talk about but don't know if we can ever stop this chain.

Anyway, the environment and locals' health are getting contaminated. With a lack of medical care n a workers union, the situation was pretty serious. And I think it's always the poor n uneducated are the one gets chained this kind of negative spiral, so the issue itself doesn't get much attention.

So, an outcome so far is unfortunate that the locals are getting weak, the land becomes poor n the companies make millions profit.

It's so not easy to realize that our society is made up of some one's harsh reality. You gotta decide what's really useful or 便利 n what's good n what's not. If you are too passive n believe what they tell you, you will jus end up with as just a consumer for all the things in life.

After all, each one of us gotta look at and ask ourselves "are we really ok?" Contemplate n feel inside, then again ask ourselves, "now what do I want to do?"

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