Matagalpa
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Coca-Cola-ization of Latin America
While I was backpacking in the northern rural region of Matagalpa, Nicaragua this past summer, I couldn't believe how Americanized Latin American culture was due to the widespread effects of the Coca-Cola industry. The red and white slogan is branded on buildings, busses, billboards and t-shirts across the country, even in the most remote areas. I bought a bottle from the man on the bicycle, and he introduced me to his wife. Throughout my travels in Central America, I always thought the cola tasted a little different. His wife explained to me in very simple Spanish that in Latin America, Coke is made with real sugar instead of corn syrup because the sugar-cane crops are a central industry for export and domestic consumption. To me, this demonstrated a small victory for Latin American prevailing in the Americanized, global Coca-Cola industry that has indadvertedly homogenized many marginalized cultures.
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