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In terms of protection, there has been an increase in the number of pimps prosecuted.

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica — The slumping global economy is having a stimulus effect on Costa Rica’s famous sex-tourism industry, as a growing number of unemployed women — from Colombia to the Dominican Republic — flock to San José to seek a living in the world’s oldest profession.Poverty has remained around 20% for nearly 20 years, and the strong social safety net that had been put into place by the government has eroded due to increased financial constraints on government expenditures.Immigration from Nicaragua has increasingly become a concern for the government.The estimated 300,000-500,000 Nicaraguans in Costa Rica legally and illegally are an important source of - mostly unskilled - labor, but also place heavy demands on the social welfare system.'s capital, wearing an impossibly short miniskirt, high heels, and a tight shirt.Officials learned about the trafficking victims on August 15, when a client helped three women escape.

When taken to the police, they reported the abuses they encountered under ringleaders; however, they allege that they, unlike the other 13 women, were working voluntarily. Those rescued this weekend are under a victim protection program and are receiving therapy.

“And most of them are foreigners.” Even veteran foreign prostitutes notice the changes. Before it was mostly Ticas [Costa Ricans] and Nicas [Nicaraguans],” said Elena, a Russian prostitute who was brought to Costa Rica by a Belgian man five years ago to work in a strip club.

Some of San José’s women of the night came to Costa Rica with more ambitious professional plans in mind.

As I wandered trough the mall, I found a shop with beautiful things in the window. As I looked at the blouse, a man approached me and said in Spanish, "Do you like the shirt?

" Thinking he was a sales person, I said in Spanish, with no American accent, "Yes, but I wish it was in green. " When this man saw me, he clearly did not register me as an American.

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – The slumping global economy is having a stimulus effect on Costa Rica’s famous sex-tourism industry, as a growing number of unemployed women — from Colombia to the Dominican Republic – flock to San José to seek a living in the world’s oldest profession.