Declining tourism and a glut of foreign womenf rom Nicaragua, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Venezuela and even Russia has pushed some prostitutes in Costa Rica to lower prices by as much as 40 to 50 per cent.
Tourism in Costa Rica is off by 15% this year, while the supply of women seeking to work in “the world’s oldest profession” keeps climbing, the Miami Herald reports.
Like many prostitutes, Mayela, a 36-year-old single mother with an unfinished education, first started selling her body for sex in her early 30s to support her children. After several years of prostitution, she made enough money to buy a small house and get her three daughters into decent schools. She eventually found an unskilled assembly line job at a factory, which paid less than prostitution but got her out of the skin trade, which she despises.
But when she got laid off earlier this year, Mayela said she had no choice but to return to wearing short skirts and working long nights.
“Now there are like 90 per cent more girls working here than before,” Mayela said of the scene at Key Largo. “And most of them are foreigners.”
Even veteran foreign prostitutes notice the changes.
“There are a lot more Colombians now. Before it was mostly Ticas [Costa Ricans] and Nicas [Nicaraguans],” said Elena, a Russian prostitute who was brought to Costa Rica by a Belgian man five years ago to work in a strip club.