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CASA XOCHIQUETZAL<br />
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María Isabel, a resident of Casa Xochiquetzal, in her bedroom at the shelter on July 8, 2013. María Isabel, who grew up in Michoacán, Mexico, ran away from home at the age of 9 after a year in which her father “used her.” When she got to the Mexico City bus station, she met a woman selling tamales who offered her a home and education. María Isabel nearly finished her studies to become a teacher, but when her caretaker died, she became a sex worker at 17. She now reads, writes poetry, embroiders, and makes earrings and bracelets. Casa Xochiquetzal is a shelter for elderly sex workers in Mexico City. It gives the women refuge, food, health services, a space to learn about their human rights and courses to help them rediscover their self-confidence and deal with traumatic aspects of their lives. Casa Xochiquetzal provides a space to age with dignity for a group of vulnerable women who are often invisible to society at large. It is the only such shelter existing in Latin America. Photo by Bénédicte Desrus