The island paradise of the Dominican Republic has become a popular destination for white American and European tourists looking to play out their illicit sex fantasies with underage girls and boys, a recent report revealed.
In a nation where almost a third of the population lives on less than $1.75 day, most folks are willing to do whatever they can to earn extra cash, even if it means selling their bodies to ready and willing travelers. A report by Australia’s SBS “Dateline” noted that the DR has one of the highest prostitution rates in the world, per capita of the population.
While prostitution is legal on the Caribbean island, sex under the age of 18 is not. Almost one in four Dominican sex workers are believed to be under the legal age, however.
“Their faces look so young,” reporter Krishnan Guru-Murthy said of the exploited children, some of whom were as young as 13. “You couldn’t possibly mistake them for grown-ups. And any man who wants to pay them to have sex is a child abuser.”
Guru-Murthy stopped in the Domincan capital of Santo Domingo, where international tourists flock in record numbers for the sunshine, sandy beaches and, of course, sex.
Sex tourism isn’t the island’s dirty little secret, however. It’s basically out in the open where girls and boys can be seen soliciting older, male tourists for sex, according to Guru Murthy.
One young woman named Candy (last name withheld) told the reporter she’s been a sex worker since she was 14 years old, after escaping her abusive grandmother. The now 17-year-old said she works to provide for her infant son and other relatives she lives with. In one arrangement, she was offered $500 for five hours of sex with a 76-year-old Swiss tourist.
Another young man named Supiro recalled being just a boy when he started sleeping with male tourists for cash and now uses his experience to help youth similarly at risk of being exploited for sex.
“They want to try a Dominican boy, a young boy,” he said of the sleazy travelers. “In their country, they can’t do that. They can live out their fantasy here.”
Chulo, who acts as a pimp for sex tourists to get them what they want, told Guru-Murthy the police rarely give him any trouble because they know he’s only trying to make a buck.
“They know I’m only surviving,” Chulo said, adding that an Italian tourist once gave him $500 to have sex with a virgin.
One tourist echoed Chulo’s argument that Dominicans were doing everything they could to survive and seemed to take no issue with children and teens prostituting themselves.
“It’s a poor country. People need to eat, you understand that?” the man told the reporter. “The tourists bring the chica [female sex workers] to lunch to have a good meal. They’re happy. You know how much they can make a day?
“If you stop the sex here, [the resorts] will be empty,” he added.
Watch more in the clip below.