Maquila -- maquiladora

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Vocabulary / Vocabulario Español-Inglés' started by Helen G, Mar 1, 2005.

  1. Helen G New Member

    U.S. English

    What is the literal definition of maquiladora (sweatshop factory) and what is the distinction when someone uses the term maquila--as in maquila worker?

  2. Beariver Member

    Colombia, Spanish
    In Central America the word "maquila" is used as the manufactured production of textils (clothes) as well as the factory itself dedicated to this kind of production.
    You can find people that use the term to refer to a massive production paying low wages. Like: "... You need it for tomorrow? This is not a maquila".

    I hope it helps.
  3. el alabamiano Senior Member

    English (US)

    Maquila is the short form of the word maquiladora. It was originally associated with the process of milling. In Mexico it became the word for another kind of processing -- the assembly of imported component parts for re-export.

    The maquilas in Mexico began as a border phenomenon over 30 years ago. With the support of the Mexican government, US firms set up assembly plants on the Mexican side of the border. They were allowed to import components and raw materials duty-free and reexport the finished product to the US. Now maquilas are in many parts of Mexico and Central America. The lure of the maquilas is low wages, a lack of environmental or labour regulations, low taxes, and few if any duties. Products produced include apparel, electronic goods, auto parts, etc.
  4. Fernando Senior Member

    Spain, Spanish
    I am copying you the definition by the Real Academia dictionary (which contains the origin of the word). In Spain we use the term to refer to any fabrication process in which one maker sells the good to a maker and buys it back when the good is finished (or an intermediate process is done). Though it is usual in clothes (you give the textiles to a maker in another country, you receive the clothes sewed and then you sell it) I have seen it in pork industry: one farmer have the mothers, the pigs are born and then you give it to another farmer. When you received the grown pig you pay for every kg the pig has over the initial weight.

    (Del ár. hisp. makíla, y este del ár. clás. makīlah, cosa medida).
    1. f. Porción de grano, harina o aceite que corresponde al molinero por la molienda.
    2. f. Medida con que se maquila.
    3. f. Medio celemín.
    4. f. Hond. Medida de peso de cinco arrobas.



    1. f. El Salv., Guat., Hond. y Méx. Producción de manufacturas textiles para su exportación.
    2. f. El Salv., Guat., Hond. y Méx. Fábrica destinada a esta producción.
    Real Academia Española © Todos los derechos reservados
  5. Magoya Member

    Chile, Spanish
    En chile, se usa (usaba mi abuelo al menos ahora ya no tanto) para indicar una especie de impuesto. Coloquialmente era una parte de lo que alguien producia para otro y tomaba parte de ella (sacaba la "maquila)

    Creo que viene de cuando los españoles, durante la colonia, cobraban impuestos por la produccion de granos y vegetales a los residentes locales. (cuuentate una nueva) y este correspondia a 5 arrobas tal como lo dice Fernando.

    Esto es solo como cultura, ya que en tu parrafo no aplica


  6. LeoMerida New Member

    Spanish, Guatemala

    I am just trying to find out the same answer. Interesting enough last night on cnn while watching the coverage about inmigration they featured a sweat factory (I think that´s how they said it) in Central New York where illegal inmigrants are working in deplorable conditions. The "Asociación Guatemalteca de Exportadores de Productos no Tradicionales- AGEXPRONT" classifies a Maquiladora as any factory that produces only for exporting, regardless of the product, they make clothing, candles, food products, cosmetics, etc.. Therefore, I´d expect in the US there are not factories that fall into this definition. The sweat shop I saw on the news I´d call it una "pequeña fábrica o taller de confección de ropa.... " In Guatemala small factories are also called taller (ropa, zapatos, etc. )


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