Blog: Leonie BarrieGood-bye to Guatemala

Leonie Barrie | 7 May 2004

I'm just about to head downtown for a meeing with Guatemala's minister of economy Marcio Cuevas, and then it's back to the exhibition centre to say my good-byes. Both the Apparel Sourcing Show and my own agenda (and no doubt those of other visitors here too) have been organised with expert precision and attention to detail, and I really must thank everyone at apparel and textile association Vestex for their hard work in making this a fantastic week - including Carla Caballeros, Liggia Barrios, Patricia de Krol and Raul Gonzalez.

One of my most memorable visits took place yesterday when I met with Carlos Arias, executive vice president at Koramsa, one of the world's largest jeans and bottoms manufacturers and finishers, with a capacity nearing 700,000 units a week. The scale of the operation was overwhelming - with around 400 people working in the sample and short run sewing room alone! The dedication to customer service and the ongoing commitment to design and development make this facility a true flagship for the whole region - and definitely worthy of a feature. I don't think my photos have come out very well though, which is a shame as there were some incredible sights to see.

Other highlights included a buzzing salsa party last night with live music and a free bar; and the CBI Regional Development Awards on Wednesday night which honoured Central America's apparel and textile innovators. 

I don't return to the UK until Sunday; a couple of days' R&R in the beautiful colonial town of Antigua beckon before I have to face the long flight home. But I'll no doubt have plenty of time to reflect on an amazing, thought provoking and inspiring week.


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