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MEXICO: The women of Casa Xochiquetzal, a unique shelter for elderly sexworkers

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Norma Angelica, a resident of Casa Xochiquetzal, puts on her high-heeled sandals at the shelter in Mexico City, Mexico on October 2, 2013. Norma Angelica is from Tabasco and is 53. She came to Mexico City at age 18 and married Ramiro. They were together 11 years. When her husband died, she went home to care for her ailing mother. Ten years ago, her mother died, and her brothers took everything, including the house, and left Norma Angelica in the street. She returned to Mexico City very depressed and turned to prostitution. She came to Casa Xochiquetzal in 2013. Casa Xochiquetzal is a shelter for elderly sex workers in Mexico City. It offers its residents refuge, food, health services and a place to learn about their human rights, as well as 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 in existence in Latin America. Photo by Bénédicte Desrus