Jeff Miller ♦ 2013 Global Scholars Symposium
Title: La Sala
Abstract: Though Costa Rica has long been a hub of foreign and domestic sex tourism in the Americas, sex work remains legally ambiguous in the eyes of the State and a target of derision by society at large. For over twenty years, the women of La Sala worked with state officials to create a safe space for sex workers and provide them access to health and psychological services. Within the last five, they have claimed the space as their own and, and without government funding, have set out to organize sex workers across the country into a formal collective. In these efforts, La Sala seeks to spread its message of sexual health and safety to all involved in the trade, achieve state recognition of sex work as labor, and redefine popular notions of an industry for which so many generations of women have been made to feel shame.