The Human Dimension & Why It Matters
The expanding tourism industry has impacted the Galapagos’ local population by contributing to economic change and social issues.
The Girl in Heels | 2012

Five years ago, Violeta sold her body for the first time, earning $5 from her first customer. On her first night as a sex worker, she had 15 clients. Afterwards, she stood in the shower crying, wondering if financial security was worth becoming a commercial sex worker. Since then, Violeta has had as few as 10 clients a week and as many as 30 clients in a night. She said that the only time she is happy in this job is when she earns more than $200 in one night.

Violeta has been able to save up about $15,000 USD and hopes of earning $5,000 more so that she can fulfill her dream of buying a house and opening up her own minimarket, like her mother. She said that her dream is simple and not so far off from what other people dream of. Very few people who meet her during the day know that she is a sex worker because she does not want to endure their judgement and prejudice.

Though her work makes her unhappy, she is very proud of the fact that she is a hard worker and never accepts defeat. She ran away from a sexually abusive step-father and made an independent living, even though she is uneducated.

But the cost of this way of life is high- she has no friends, no stability, no true safety; and worst of all, no easy way out. Violeta’s hope is to raise the remaining $5,000 within the year so she can leave the commercial sex industry for a safer, happier life.

"It is like being a clown."