We chose a different spot at the beach one day. This time we were a lot closer to the main part of town in Sosua than usual. The atmosphere was different. We typically enjoy the area on the other side of the beach, its more quiet and has a family area. This day, we wanted to try something new. After a short walk, we decided upon a restaurant that served one of our recent teams.
The workers set up our lounge chairs and umbrellas. They were kind and very polite. I began to feel comfortable. My girls enjoyed the waves with the visiting team of university students and I rested under the shade of my umbrella.
Then it happened.
The same nice and polite man who served us well led two women to a group of men. He introduced them. The men looked them over up and down, front and behind. Once they approved, the ladies were told to wait.
Our nice assistant led them to a table where they waited for these men all day. Mr. Nice repeated this scene over and over again that day.
I. Could. Not. Enjoy. The. Beach
I was too distracted by men sizing up women and making deals with Mr. Nice. By two in the afternoon there was a table full of beautiful women waiting for these foreigners who had just made deals for their bodies that day.
They seemed like an invasion on the beach. Maybe it has always been this way, but now my eyes were opened.
We have more slaves in the world today than ever! Most of those women were there against their will. Most believe they have no other choice. Since adult prostitution is legal in the Dominican Republic, sex tourism has become a major lure for tourist.
Our centers in Puerto Plata and in Cien Fuegos are positioned to help our girls avoid the trap of prostitution. It is estimated that 60,000-100,000 women work in prostitution in the Dominican Republic. Our center directors work hard to teach our young ladies a different path.
Our prayer is that our girls will not end up like the ladies we saw on the beach that day. With over half of the Dominican population living below the poverty line, there is a great possibility of them believing the lie of prostitution.
It takes $2,500 to run one of our centers each month. Will you join our fight to protect innocent girls? We cannot continue without your help.