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. 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. 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)
When I was twelve years old, my uncle was visiting from another part of Costa Rica. My parents decided to go out to dinner. I think it was their anniversary or something. Anyhow, as I was getting ready to go to sleep, I heard the door creak open. It was my uncle. He started touching me, and I was very scared. I tried to yell, but no one else was home at the time. I don’t want to go into details, but I ended up pregnant. Abortions are not legal here, so I was forced to carry the baby and my parents, being very religious felt that I needed to keep the baby. So there I was barely 13 with a baby.
I could not continue with school, my parents were not rich, so I was in need of taking a job. My parents both worked as much as they could during the day. Dad helped neighbors with odd construction jobs while mom worked only 4 hours a day at the local market. That left only me at home to take care of the baby. My only sibling is a brother who was 17 at the time and already living with his girlfriend at her family’s house because he got her pregnant. It was up to me to be home. My parents urged me to find an evening job. I had to find a way to make enough money to pay for my baby as I was getting no support form the father (my uncle). The only job I was qualified for was to sell my body.
I had only the education of a 12 year old, and wasn’t qualified for anything much. I met some friends in the neighborhood who walk the streets at night for some money. They make $500 a night sometimes. That is not bad at all I thought. I can do that. When I just thought about the money, it was okay, but when you go and actually put yourself out on the street and have men approach you, it is very difficult. I lied about my age all the time. You have to be 18 in Costa Rica to officially consent to sex. I felt already tainted because of my uncle, so I didn’t have high self-esteem. I would go to my friend’s house and get ready there. We would put on tight clothes, makeup, and do our hair nice. We would suck on mints so that we would have nice breath. She said the men like clean women.
Men would approach us and we would quote a price. The good thing is that pimping is illegal, and so I know some girls are pimped, but we weren’t and could keep all the money. The first time was really hard. I threw up afterwards. Then, my friend and I would go to an alley, and use baby wipes to clean ourselves up and get fresh again for the next customer. It went on all night until 3:00 in the morning. I had been with 7 men. One actually slapped me and tried to play rough. I didn’t have any power to stop him. That was the last one and I stopped for that night. The money was good though. I made $245 that first night. The money was good and helped with the baby.
It has been 5 years and I finally was of legal age just last year. I have had one other baby with one man but he left me during the pregnancy. I can go to all the good bars now that I am 18 and find rich gringos.
Sometimes people ask what ever happened to the uncle who raped me. It is my mom’s uncle, so at least we are not too close genetically, but mom still talks to him. I refuse to see him and my parents don’t invite him over anymore. That is a good thing for me.
I am used to the sex now and it is the easiest way for me to make money. Maybe one day I will find a man to take care of me and my babies but for now I am happy with this life and can make all the money I need for a month in a few nights. I can go out a drink and use drugs and those things make me numb to what I am doing.
Although these women will act like this job is something that they have accepted it tears them up inside each and every day. They are raped, abused, and the children that are raised in this environment see the pain their mother goes through. In many cases the cycle of prostitution continues with the children. Sometimes even persuaded by the parent to get involved as the mom’s looks begin to fade.
A few gringos walked into the bar and I could see that Isabella wanted to go work her magic. She turned to look at me and told me she had to go to work. Although she was obviously already a little drunk, you could see the pain and coldness in her eyes that her life had turned her into. After about 20 minutes of chatting up one of the gringos that had come into the bar, she headed out the door under his arm…….the cycle continues.