NICARAGUA: PROSTITUTION BECOMES A MAJOR SOCIAL PROBLEM
Spanish/Nat Prostitution has grown to become a major social problem in Nicaragua where a deep economic crisis has created severe poverty. In the first of a three-part series of reports on prostitution in the central American country, A-P-T-V looks at the plight of young mothers forced to sell their bodies to feed their children. Managua's Zona Rosa is where those Nicaraguans lucky enough to have some money come to spend it. Many of the men who come here are looking for more than just a drink and a turn on the dance floor. Sex has become one of the most lucrative businesses in the city. These dancers represent the upper end of the market in human flesh. At the other end of the scale are the women, many of them teenagers, plying their trade on the streets outside. As elsewhere in the world prostitution has always been around. But the severe economic problems faced by the country have made this ancient vice cheaper and more readily available than ever before. Prostitutes solicit their clients openly and even those supposedly upholding the law aren't ashamed to be seen picking them up. 18-year-old Cecilia and her 15-year-old friend Maria del Socorro are among the many Nicaraguan teenagers pushed into prostitution. They live together in a slum in Managua's quake-wrecked city centre. Cecilia says she was forced to sell her body to feed her young children. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish)
Well the truth is not all of them do it out of need but I do because I've got three children and there's no one to help me. That's why.
I'm on the game because I really need to, because I've got no one to help me. If I had someone to help me or the support of a man... but because I've no husband I have to go out on the street.
SUPER CAPTION: Cecilia, 18-year-old prostitute Despite being just 15, Maria del Socorro's also got a baby to look after. SOUNDBITE: (Spanish)
I have to help my mother my brothers and sisters and my baby. I have to help buy clothes for my brothers and sisters and my mother. You see, we took a loan out from the bank and we have to pay it back.
SUPER CAPTION: Maria del Socorro,15-year-old prostitute The girls help each other prepare themselves for their night's work. Competition out on the street for clients is stiff and they know they must look their best. But each trick they turn earns them six dollars, and in poverty stricken Nicaragua this is more than most people earn in a day. Like thousands of women like them, the simple fact is that they cannot afford not to go onto the streets. You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/youtube/f641db6b39951badd37d848f5f8fa57c Find out more about AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/HowWeWork