The residence is located in the historic Plaza Loreto where Carmen began her career as a sex worker.
At 22, he came to the city looking for work to feed his seven children . Someone had told her that a priest from the Santa Teresa La Nueva church was helping young women like her to seek work as domestic servants.
sent to leave the place sent
" Canelita," one of the residents in her room at Casa Xochiquetzal.
Carmen found herself crying and hurt by the priest's words, but at that moment a woman approached her to comfort her.
"She told me: 'That man will give you 1,000 pesos if you go with him,'" Carmen recalls.
"Where do I have to go with him?" I asked.
"To a room," she answered.
"And how will I know what work I have to do?"
The woman told him clearly what to do and Carmen was shocked.
And although at first he did not want to do it, despair made him end up with the man .
The man gave him 1,000 pesos and did not want anything in return. He told her he did not want to exploit his despair. Maybe he knew he was coming back.
And so it happened. The next day, with a defiant attitude, Carmen returned to the same corner of the Plaza Loreto thinking:
"From now on, my children will never go hungry again."
to Merced – 106 buildings that are part of the World Heritage of Unesco – and contains some of the oldest buildings in the city.
La Merced is the main commercial focus and the largest of the seven red districts of the city. There is at least one hotel in every block.
"When I started working as a prostitute, I was dazzled by the money I could earn," Muñoz said. that I was worth nothing and that it was also Ugly. "
But working on the streets had a price. Both the authorities and the pimps demanded money. Beating and sexual harassment were common, and Carmen became addicted to drugs and alcohol.
But despite this, feels grateful .
"Thanks to prostitution I was able to take care of my children and give them a roof under which to live – a decent place," he said.
And years later, she was able to offer a home to other people like her.
One night, when he lifted a canvas that was in the street found underneath three old women embraced to give themselves heat. He recognized them. They were sex workers like her.
"It hurts. It hurts to see human beings in that state, "Carmen said.
The woman helped the old women and paid them a hotel for that night
That's when she realized that most of the sex workers when they get older, because of the passing of the years and the effects of their harsh living conditions, have nowhere to go. Not even their families want them. There, Munoz's determination to do something was born.
Over the next 13 years, Carmen lobbied local authorities to establish a residence for elderly and homeless sex workers.
At the end the city gave them a large building from the 18th century, near Loreto Square .
"We cried and cried for joy," Carmen said.
The residence was baptized as Xochiquetzal House, in honor to the Aztec goddess of the beauty and sexual power of the women .
During the last 11 years, the residence has given shelter to more than 250 sex workers, but not without challenges.