A Nursing Home for Sex Workers

In many countries once sex workers are no longer desirable enough to work, they end up destitute and homeless. Carmen Munoz saw that, and a sex worker herself she was not only touched by their plight she wanted to prevent this from happening to her. Her own story can be typical of why women go to work in one of Mexico City’s several red light districts. At 22 with 7 children, her husband left her. She heard of a priest who helped people find jobs, but after 4 days of waiting when she finally met him, he sent her away. It was sex work or starving children. She got 1000 pesos the first time, a mere pittance even in the early nineties when she began, but she had never seen that much money at one time. After seeing 3 former sex workers huddled together under a tarp to keep warm, she decided to petition the city for a place to house them and others in the same circumstances. It took her 11 years before she succeeded. Artists helped so did other sex workers. The house they succeeded in having is a small place, room for 25 people, and it comes with its own problems of trying to make ends meet. The residents take jewelry making classes and try to help, so do some non profits. But it’s there, it exists, and Carmen Munoz hopes to go there some day.
We are so focused on our concerns about the present or about politics it is easy to overlook stories like this, stories that speak to the goodness, perseverance, initiative, drive of some individuals, stories that keep us from being cynical or unduly pessimistic about the human condition.