Free The Girls: A Tale of Two Mothers

In Costa Rica, a mother and daughter are breaking the cycle of generational poverty and exploitation.

In January 2022, “Mama G” began selling bras through Free The Girls (FTG) in San Jose. She is putting the money earned toward her dream: to buy a plot of land where she can own a small farm and grow plenty of food for herself and her family, as well as to sell to her neighbors.  

This is a complete turnaround for Mama G, who was a madam overseeing brothels in Costa Rica for many years. Mama G is a hard worker and fierce protector of those she loves, including Mama Y.

When Mama Y heard about FTG’s program from Mama G, she thought it sounded too good to be true–so she showed up to Casa Esperanza in the Red Zone in San Jose and asked about it. 

Mama Y asked FTG about the savings initiative that goes towards the Inheritance Project grant. She has two children in high school, is still actively in prostitution, and wants to get out. She saw what Mama G was able to save, and she wanted a shot at it.

Mama Y is the first woman in Costa Rica to sell her initial inventory within two weeks and come back for more. She’s quickly on her way to becoming the top bra saleswoman our Costa Rican program has ever seen!  Her dream is to open a screen-printing business.

The best part of the story? Mama G is Mama Y’s mother.

This mother-daughter duo is revolutionizing FTG’s Costa Rican program by setting the bar for what women in the program can do. More importantly, they are breaking the cycle of poverty and exploitation for future generations. When mothers show their children what they can accomplish, the ripple effect is massive. 

Learn more about Free The Girls’ mission to help women exiting sex trafficking reintegrate into their communities.

*Images have been changed to protect the survivors’ privacy. Photos owned by: Free The Girls.