Acacias, Meta is a prominent llanero town that hosts one of the most important cultural events in this part of the country, The Return Festival, which is held annually as an opportunity to promote the cultural values, traditions, and customs of the llanera region. The Return Festival, which takes place every October, brings together the best representatives of Colombian and Venezuelan llanera music. With the assistance of more than 40,000 people, this population intends to live a great party to publicize the culture of Llanera in all its manifestations, which is seen as an opportunity to spread and popularize traditions and customs through artistic expressions such as music and the joropo" to help strengthen the cultural identity of the Acacireños, especially for the new generation that must understand their roots, adopt and transmit their customs and folklore.
It is also the best time for prostitutes to make a killing, In the center of town where all the bars and businesses that offer women on their menu are located.
The women involved in prostitution in Acacias are often from other parts of the country or neighboring countries, many of them due to economic hardship.
The life of the prostitutes in Acacias is difficult and dangerous, as they have to deal with unknown and sometimes violent clients, as well as constant threats from pimps and police. Acacia prostitution is a controversial issue that has been debated in the acacia community for many years. Although prostitution is illegal in most countries of the world, in some areas of Acacias it is allowed under certain conditions. In Acacias, prostitution was historically considered a necessary social phenomenon to satisfy the sexual needs of men. However, the perception of prostitution has changed in recent years, increasingly suggesting that it should be banned due to its negative impact on society. One of the main criticisms of Acacias' prostitution is that it is an activity that promotes the sexual exploitation of women. Many women in Acacias engage in prostitution out of economic necessity and have no other means of earning a living. In addition, many of these women are victims of human trafficking and forced into prostitution. Ana is a woman who came to Acacias, she was born in a small town in the south of Colombia, she grew up experiencing the economic and political crisis that was plaguing the country and decided that she did not want to continue living like this. Ana bought a bus ticket with the little money she had saved and she started an uncertain journey towards a new destination. When she arrived in Acacias, she realized that she did not have many opportunities to earn a living. After searching for a job, she found herself as a service employee.
At the age of 18, she became pregnant and married, giving birth to Juan, then Noelia and Mauricio. Her days as her wife consisted of her husband arriving drunk and then hitting her in the face. “One Christmas he almost killed me in front of our three children. A neighbor saved me. That night I promised myself that I would never let him hit me again. I filed a complaint against him, but the police station refused to respond and they only locked him up for one night. When he was released the next morning, he told me: "You big bitch, take care of my children, because if I find anything wrong with them, I'm going to put a knife in your head. Somehow his words condemned me, because that's what I did: raise and care for my children at all costs, regardless of my life.More than twenty years have passed since that sentence, but Ana broke down and cried again and again.
As the head of the family, he began making churros, meatballs and homemade bread, which he sold nearby while the children went to school. Until they also made him want to learn, and in twelve months of study he passed the seventh year of primary school with distinction and innumerable congratulations. When she lost her job as a maid, Anna turned to prostitution to support her three children. “A close neighbor told her that she was a prostitute and with that she made a living from it. “The worst thing was that my daughter's shoes broke and I couldn't take her to school for three days. During that time I ran into the neighbor again at the bus stop. I told him I didn't know what to do. I remember her taking money out of her backpack and saying, "I'm a prostitute." If you want, I'll take you and tell you how this job is, you can't go on like this. A week later we were together on the bus. Women are the whores of this hell, the crisis makes one go out and sell the only thing one has, their dignity. One is a whore because of hunger, because of necessity. " The instructions were minimal: "put on a bitch face until a customer shows up. “I thought about what a prostitute's face would look like. Years later I learned that the face of a prostitute is the face of a poor woman. “No sex work, just women without resources,” says a magnet on the refrigerator at her home in Acacias.
In the jargon, paid sex with the first client is called "christening", but it is also called "slut status". “I chose to be Anita, that was my character. Ana was callous and disgusting. But Anita was strong and determined. After more than three years of prostitution I met girls from the sex workers union. I began to go to rallies, to speak, I liked to be applauded, my colleagues asked questions. Anita felt strengthened. " Ana confuses the names in her story. Sometimes she speaks of Anita in the first person. Many others seem to have left and she remembers him as a stranger, another story that has nothing to do with her. "It took me years to get Anita out of my life".
For example, once when she was taking care of a patient and on the way to Villavicencio, someone on the bus asked my name. I answered Anita. Far from the bar Anita was alive and I had to kill her.
Ana created a character called "Anita" It was a mask to be able to do the job without regrets. When she left prostitution, it took her many years to get out of her life. "I'm a reinstated whore," she said. While she spent the afternoons in the bar, she began to study at night, first high school, and then at a technical institute she graduated as a therapeutic companion, in her jargon she says that knowing how to take care of old people is what she says about her. Sometimes she was late just to be able to put the boys to bed and then to check the notebooks, but her sacrifice had her reward. “During my studies I began to see and understand what was happening in downtown bars. I stopped thinking of what we did as a job and I got tired of continuing with the union training, which all they did was teach how to please different types of men and deal with penis sizes. Because I don't just live my life, I also see other women's lives. A girl was caught begging for money in a street situation. Nobody does anything. I didn't do anything either, I sank into the all-powerful underground. Seeing a deaf woman with her baby waiting for a client. Or knowing that a woman who feeds five grandchildren because her sons and daughters are drug addicts. Or my friend Erica, who died at 36 after her head exploded when a client left her bleeding everywhere. Ana, she remembered those days and cried bitterly. She cried again.
“I put myself in very dangerous situations because we turned into animals. Once I was approached by five guys who were working on a construction site. I went to attend to the five of them by myself, standing leaning against the wall, when they left my body ended up trembling, they all penetrated me from behind one by one. They paid me 50,000 pesos each. I made a lot of money that day, but when I got home I was devastated: my legs, arms, back hurt, I clenched my fists too tightly. So I thought they might kill me. How many dangerous things did you save me from?
Everyone in the bar used drugs, I used the legal ones like ibuprofen, diclofenac, corticosteroids, tramadol, morphine. It can be taken orally or injected. Around these bars there is a red circle: hotels, three or four pharmacies, santeros who sell products to attract men, abortionists. A whole system that can be used by the sex industry.
" After consuming so many drugs, gastritis plagued me, so I had no choice but to inject myself. In fact, I have many knots in my tail because I injected badly. When I took drugs, I not only felt that the physical pain was gone, but also the emotional pain, this pain is invisible but it's always there, and it's harder to remove than any pain I've ever felt. All the whores did it, at first you don't want to, but circumstances overwhelm you all the time and it starts the vice to roll everywhere”.
At the end of a hot year, Ana felt that she was going to die while she waited for her "client" from her. The pain paralyzed her. Her legs were shaking and she couldn't contain herself. She panicked. A deep sadness took over her body. She didn't remember what happened, but she knew that she came to the hospital and asked them to take care of her because if she didn't she would commit suicide. "I remember talking to the doctor for hours. I don't know what I told him, but I'll never forget what he said to me: 'I see a good woman in you, you'll get out of this like you've gotten out of more difficult things. I'm going to take care of her, but I need Do what I tell you. After that incident I decided that I was going to change my life completely, back home I told myself that I was never going to set foot in a bar and that the story of Anita the whore had ended "
“It is not the oldest job in the world, it is the oldest privilege of the oligarchy,” said a banner outside her house. In the first few weeks, Anna needed help with the medicines prescribed by the hospital. After that, she could take care of herself. She began sewing dolls and bears, which she sold at a nearby church. And she kept getting better. She found work treating adult couples. She put her house in order. The children have grown. She was even encouraged to invest in merchandise to resell groceries at home. Ana is one of the many stories of women in Colombia who work as prostitutes in bad bars without social security, without STD prevention and living like dogs.
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