In early 1871, a town called La Lima was established thanks to the booming banana industries throughout the Central American countries. La Lima got its name because of the multitude of lima trees that grew in that area at the time. In 1952 the first governor was positioned in La Lima. His name was Fernando Ching or Nando Ching as he was commonly known by the locals. Born in Belize, Nando Ching became part of La Lima’s history by establishing the first restaurant for banana farm workers in La Lima. The restaurant was decorated with many telling paintings of farmers labouring in the banana fields or in the green ocean as the locals would call the banana fields. These paintings were admired by both the restaurant patrons and the local people because of the pain and suffering that were depicted within these paintings.
It was interesting that back then in La Lima, many things didn’t even have a name and so in order to refer to something, it was necessary for people to point to them. This practice was very common, especially during an annual festival or carnival that took place in the La Lima town centre. Each year many travellers from the main cities would bring their new inventions to La Lima and it was a wonderful opportunity for the locals to see such interesting and unusual inventions – pointing and gasping was a very common sight at these annual festivals. One year, the locals were particularly impressed to see how a basic hand push lawn mower, operated by one man, could do the job in half the time that it took several local men to do.
On the 12th of February 1954, La Lima’s name was changed to Villa La Lima. Historically La Lima played a very important role in the country’s economy as it was the centre of the first biggest banana export in the world. Although La Lima was a busy and thriving banana export plant, it was still considered a small town, isolated and far from the main city. In actual fact, La Lima was not only built to become a meeting and trading point for the local banana workers and those living in nearly villages, but also to provide housing for the non-local workers who came from abroad to work in the green ocean.
For much needed recreation for the families in La Lima, two cinemas were established - Cine Urbe and Cine Imperial. Further to these cinemas, alcohol and prostitution very soon became a fixed pastime for many of those living in La Lima. La Lima was no longer just a trading or recreational point for the banana farm workers but it also became the place to which many of the workers could temporarily escape from the long and harsh working conditions. To these workers, the banana fields became known as the Green Immense Ocean. It was fair to say and it was readily accepted that if one was to start work in the banana plantations, that the likelihood of remaining there for the rest of one’s life was a settled and done deal – this was seen as a curse, one that was imprinted, yes engraved on everyone’s mind.
Deep in the heart of some of the banana fields, in a nearby town called COPEN, was a hill called Cerrito 21. The view from this particular hill was magnificent. The wind seemed to echo with the sound of infinity as it breathed through the vast banana fields surrounding this hill. Such breathtaking beauty was marred by the competitiveness that had developed between towns. As a result of this competition, rival towns began to experience aloofness, and their sense of mistrust grew as they fought to defend their love for their own settlement and to uphold their many and diverse beliefs. This aloofness created a partition on all fronts – physically, socially, emotionally, spiritually, economically and politically.