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Apuntado - A worker who is listed on the employment rolls and paid directly, as distinct from one who shares the work and usually the pay but is not formally recognized as an employee.

Brazada - measure of distance equal to 2.09 meters.  Metal bars of this length are used to mark tareas, areas of land to be worked in sugarcane fields.

Caporal - A foreman on a sugar plantation.

Chumpa - A knife.

Colón - The national currency of El Salvador, with a fixed exchange rate of 8.75 colones to the U.S. dollar.  El Salvador began to phase out the colón in favor of the the U.S. dollar in 2001, making it the third country in Latin America to dollarize after Panamá in 1903 and Ecuador in 2000.  Although colón notes and coins are gradually disappearing from circulation, children and adults interviewed by Human Rights Watch frequently referred to wages and prices in colones or a combination of colones and dollars.

Corvo - A short, thick, crescent-shaped blade with a wooden handle.  Also called a curvo.

Cuadrilla - A team of workers.  Child and adult sugarcane workers interviewed by Human Rights Watch most commonly reported that cuadrillas were usually made up of thirty to forty persons, up to a third of whom were children under the age of eighteen. 

Cuma - A curved machete.

Hacienda - A plantation.

Incapacidad - A doctor’s certification that a worker is temporarily unable to work as the result of an injury suffered on the job.

Manzana - A measure of area equal to 7,000 square meters.

Quintal (q., qq.) - A measure of weight equal to 100 pounds.

Surco - A furrow or row of sugarcane.

Tarea - Literally meaning “work” or “job,” this word refers to an area of land containing approximately two tons of sugarcane.

Zafra - The sugarcane harvest.

<<previous  |  index  |  next>>June 2004