Excerpt from Dear Mom and Dad, Please Send Money.
"An older man approached the two young girls in the doorway up ahead of us. They exchanged a few words. I watched in dismay as he put his arms around them and walked inside. The girls couldn't have been more than 14 years old. I turned my attention back to Padre Solano. “Youth workers from Christian organizations come into the Zona Roja at night and pay to spend time with the girls,” Padre Solano explained. “Instead of sexual services, they use the time to find out about them, their lives, and the reason they are prostituting.”
“Do they talk the girls into leaving?” I asked.
“They encourage them to leave prostitution but there’s no safe place for the girls to go. That is why we’re interested in what you came to our country to do, Linda Caridad. Padre Cordero speaks highly of you.”
I turned and smiled at Beto. He was always championing my cause.
“We would like you to meet with our Board, and interview for the directorship of “La Casa de la Prevención, The House of Prevention.”
As we drove away from the Red Light Zone, I looked up again at the shaded windows, red lights glowing in the background. I watched young girls leaning over the balconies, laughing and talking to men walking by on the street. I watched young girls in doorways, waiting.
My mind was racing. I didn’t come to
to run a prostitution prevention program, but rather an unwed mothers’ home. “But Lord Jesus,” I said silently, “look at all of these young, vulnerable girls. So many sad eyes behind those made-up faces. The devil has these young girls caught in bondage. What is your plan for me?” Costa Rica