Coffee-pickers in the Northern Region of Nicaragua: Their Challenges as Migrant Labor Coffee-pickers in the Northern Region of Nicaragua: Their Challenges as Migrant Labor

Date
2013
Authors
Maria Martha Aguilar Centeno
Maria Martha Aguilar Centeno
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Abstract
This research explores the life of coffee-pickers in the Northern Region of Nicaragua. This group is an important workforce for the agricultural industry in Nicaragua, which is the main industry of the country’s economy. The focal point is their life experience as migrant labor being the primary research purpose is to provide an in-depth explanation about the labor migration phenomenon that is given during the coffee harvesting in Nicaragua. The reasons why these labors migrate, how is the migration experience and what are difficulties of the process, were explored. For the migration process, the pull and push theory was used as theoretical framework to analyze the influence it has on the coffee-pickers decisions to migrate. Notable challenges faced by these migrant labors as employees have been identified therefore the compliance of the labor employment practices code laws as well as the coffee harvesting employment regulations from the employers side were investigated, issues such as salary compliance, child labor in the workplace, accommodation, health security have been addressed. Qualitative techniques are the main method of inquiry; previous observation has been conducted by the researcher. For data collection the triangulation method has been used in order to gather different perspectives about this issue from three important sources. 10 experts and 6 employers have been in depth interviewed to collect data about coffee pickers’ migration process. In order to collect data from the 50 employees’ that were part of sample, a structured interview was conducted. The review of documentation has also been a vital source of information that helped the researcher to have a better understanding of the research topic and about this particular workforce. The results obtained have direct implications on the public sector and the role it plays in the coffee production, as well on the employers and their management of migrant workers and finally and most important for employees as an opportunity to express their satisfaction as coffee pickers and the law compliance from the employers.
This research explores the life of coffee-pickers in the Northern Region of Nicaragua. This group is an important workforce for the agricultural industry in Nicaragua, which is the main industry of the country’s economy. The focal point is their life experience as migrant labor being the primary research purpose is to provide an in-depth explanation about the labor migration phenomenon that is given during the coffee harvesting in Nicaragua. The reasons why these labors migrate, how is the migration experience and what are difficulties of the process, were explored. For the migration process, the pull and push theory was used as theoretical framework to analyze the influence it has on the coffee-pickers decisions to migrate. Notable challenges faced by these migrant labors as employees have been identified therefore the compliance of the labor employment practices code laws as well as the coffee harvesting employment regulations from the employers side were investigated, issues such as salary compliance, child labor in the workplace, accommodation, health security have been addressed. Qualitative techniques are the main method of inquiry; previous observation has been conducted by the researcher. For data collection the triangulation method has been used in order to gather different perspectives about this issue from three important sources. 10 experts and 6 employers have been in depth interviewed to collect data about coffee pickers’ migration process. In order to collect data from the 50 employees’ that were part of sample, a structured interview was conducted. The review of documentation has also been a vital source of information that helped the researcher to have a better understanding of the research topic and about this particular workforce. The results obtained have direct implications on the public sector and the role it plays in the coffee production, as well on the employers and their management of migrant workers and finally and most important for employees as an opportunity to express their satisfaction as coffee pickers and the law compliance from the employers.
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Keywords
coffee harvesting, migrant labor, coffee harvesting, migrant labor
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