A prostitute in Colombian cities is not required to have a permit, but that hasn’t stopped her from finding work in a variety of positions.
A new series from The New York Times highlights some of the women in Colombia who are earning money as sex workers.
More: Colombian sex workers pay $150,000 per yearThe series, “Gabriel’s Story,” features three Colombian women who live in Bogota and work as prostitutes.
The women say they are forced to work in “a system that is not free of exploitation and discrimination,” but their stories tell the stories of their struggles and success.
“I work as a sex worker because I love it,” said Cristina, a 34-year-old prostitute who requested anonymity.
“I’m a very beautiful woman, with long blond hair and beautiful skin.
And I love being here.”
Cristina, who has been working as a “sex worker” for four years, said she earns around $150 a month in Bogotá.
But she says the money she earns isn’t enough to support her two young children.
“They need to eat, I have to pay rent and pay for my kids,” Cristina said.
“The government doesn’t even give me enough money for the kids.”
When Cristina and her partner were looking for work in Colombia in 2014, they said they couldn’t find work.
“We were very confused because Colombia is not a safe country,” Cristinada said.
In the beginning, she worked as a housekeeper.
Cristina would often get paid more than her daily wage, which amounted to about $60, which she said was more than she was making as a domestic worker.
“After that, I started to earn money,” Cristinas partner, Angelica, said.
She said she now earns $70 a day.
But the couple’s stories have caught the attention of a government agency, which recently awarded them a permit to work.
Cristinada and Angelica say they don’t want to give up their work because Colombia’s government is corrupt.
“Our country is not safe,” Angelica said.
Cities like Bogotán have become hotbeds for prostitution.
There are more than 500,000 registered sex workers in Colombia.
The Colombian government estimates that prostitution generates about $50 billion in revenue annually.
But critics say that’s not all that many prostitutes actually work in these cities.
Some prostitutes work in areas where they’re not even required to register.
In Bogotà, a city of some 50,000 people, there are a total of 8,000 prostitutes, and police say they have never found any cases of prostitution in their jurisdiction.
And as Colombia becomes more diverse, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for some of these women to find work and raise their families.
“In Bogotac, there’s no reason to work as an escort.
They’re just prostitutes,” Angelina said, adding that she’s heard other women complain that they’ve had to give their children away for work.
For some prostitutes, the new jobs in Colombia don’t provide much hope.
“The people who work here don’t pay any taxes, and the police don’t care,” Angelista said.
“What if I don’t get married and I don, and my family dies?
We can’t afford that.
The next day, the police come and kill me.”