Costa Rica News – The Costa Rican Times will be doing a series called A Day in the Life of a Costa Rica Prostitute. Each week over the next month we will interview a Costa Rica working girl and have her tell her story. We will not use real names or ever put their picture out to view.
When it comes to the sex tourism business in Costa Rica, many of the men that partake in these activities have already set stereotypes of these women, most of which are not true. In is a life of horrors for most these women. Many think that these girls picked this lifestyle or also believe that they can possibly rescue them from this lifestyle. Our goal is to expose some of these stories to give a real taste of the lives of these women. By exposing some of these stories we would like to try to make the Costa Rican government to do something to protect these girls. This is a dark hole for these women and in many cases these women are exposed to rape and abuse each and every day. (Dark Side of Prostitution Article)
If you have a weak stomach do not read further. Also this material is not appropriate for children under 18.
Raquel had grown up in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Dominican Republic. At a young age she was transferred between various family members as her mother had committed suicide shortly after her birth. She went between aunts to grandparents to even friends of family members. Because of the various “foster” homes she never had the true feeling of family or love.
During one of the periods of time where she was staying with an aunt, the husband of the woman look a liking to Raquel. Her body was coming into its own at age 16 and the older man noticed. On the weekends when her aunt would go to the market, her uncle would come to her room and touch her. He would always say as he left, if you tell your aunt I will kick you out to the street. This went on for several months until she ran away to live with one of the local boys. He was 18 and had his own place. Shortly after moving in she was pregnant.
A few months into the pregnancy she found out it was twins. As the months passed the boy that had impregnated her spent less and less time at home. Then one day after taking the bus to the doctor, she came home to find out that he had packed his things and left. All that was left in the house were her clothes and a note. all the note said was “Sorry, I cannot do this. Rent is paid until the end of the month, but then she will have to find a new place to stay.” She tried to move back to her aunt’s house but her husband would not allow it.
Another boy from the town that had really liked her said that she could come live with him. The twins were born and soon after she married this boy. But after 15 years of abuse both physical and emotional she had enough. She decided to leave her country and come to the land of opportunity in her eyes….Costa Rica. Many of her friends had done this trip and said they were living great lives with a lot of money. She did not ever ask them how they were making it.
After saving money for a few months cleaning houses in the Dominican she had saved the $800 she needed to make the trip to Costa Rica. (For all of you expecting a story about a flight and then her landing here you are going to be disappointed.) This was a journey for the ages. The first part was on a boat stored away in cargo, there were 4 girls in total. The boat arrived in Nicaragua where they were placed at a halfway house until the middle of the night. At around 2 in the morning they were told to get their things and get in the back of a truck. After about 4:30 am they arrived at the border where they tried to sneak across the border without being seen. Other than a border patrol yelling at them to stop they made it across. The girls were loaded in the truck and sent to San Jose.
Upon arrival to San Jose they were given a place to stay in a neighborhood downtown that is filled with Dominicans, many of them illegal just like the girls. None of the girls arrived with any money, they had spent all of it during their trip having to bribe different people along the way. At the house they were given a cell phone and told that they needed to make $200 to pay for their new fake cedulas and cell phones. The money was needed in the first 2 weeks they were there. They would also need to pay $20 a day for staying at the house.
The woman that ran the house was a prostitute and turned about 5 to 6 tricks each day. She was supporting herself and the 5 Dominican guys that used her money to buy drugs. They slept all day and then when she came back from nights of being a prostitute the other girls would see her with $500 to $2000 each day.
Because the girls did not have their legal working papers and they had to make money right away the options were limited. After a few days of living at the house Raquel went out with the woman of the house to see what a night was like. That first night they turned 3 tricks and made $500.
She had always felt dead inside because of the lack of family growing up and then being sexually molested. With each guy it because easier. By the second night she had become able to completely shut down her body to not feel any pleasure. She would lay there with her eyes closed until he finished and then get up and get dressed. She did not want to be there just like the client did not want her to stay.
Raquel states, “I feel like I was forced into the life because there was no other way to make this money when I arrived in Costa Rica. I did not want to be a prepago (prepaid – what most working girls like to be called) but once I started I saw the money and there was no job that paid that well. I started using drugs and then the sex was easy as I did not feel anything physically or emotionally. Now I do not feel anything anymore. I am broken. No one would want me for all the things I have done. I have lost all respect for myself.”
One single tear rolls down Raquel’s cheek. She quickly wipes it off and does not think I saw it. After a quick tequila shot at the bar, her 6th of the afternoon she turns back to me.
“So do you want company?” Raquel says as I see the hollowness in her eyes. I pack my bag and walk away after declining.
As I leave the bar 15 minutes later after talking to a couple of the patrons I notice Raquel leaving on the arm of a gringo tourist, staggering as she balances herself on his shoulder.