More than 10,000 women volunteers have left the cities of Nicaragua to assist with the Central American nation's coffee harvest.
GV Women walking to work (2 shots)
GV Coffee hacienda
SV PAN Women picking coffee beans (4 shots)
SV PAN Women walking with baskets full of beans
GV Men passing drink containers to women
GV & SV People with sacks full of coffee beans (3 shots)
SV & GV Women sitting in groups, some carrying rifles (2 shots)
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Background: More than 10,000 women volunteers have left the cities of Nicaragua to assist with the Central American nation's coffee harvest. For many it was the first time they had left their homes to test the very different rural environment. After assembling in Managua, the women found themselves arriving for work at a coffee hacienda at El Quetzal, north of the capital. Soon they were in the fields helping harvest Nicaragua's main agricultural export. With the Sandanistan government pressing ahead with its programme of agrarian reform, the assistance is appreciated by rural workers now putting the rich, unexploited lands into production. Coffee accounts for about one-third of Nicaragua's exports and provides the nation with badly needed income. Nicaragua's planning minister Henry Ruiz recently estimated his nation's foreign debt at one-point-six-billion dollars but forecast it could increase to four-billion dollars this financial year. Remnants of the former right-wing national guard mount occasional attacks on Nicaragua villages and agricultural workers are never far from their guns. The national guard was disbanded after the Sandanistas overthrew the regime of Anastasio Somoza in 1979.