A combination of factors have created a booming tourism industry in Costa Rica; it is easily accessed from the U.S.; it is a safe country in which to travel and it offers a wide variety of natural beauty, beaches and sport fishing. Along with traditional tourism, however, Costa Rica has become a hotbed for rampant sexual tourism. Legalized prostitution has facilitated this booming market wherein estimates of 240,000 more men travel to Costa Rica each year solely for this purpose. Consequently, the sexual exploitation and abuse of children has become an alarming issue. Like elsewhere in the world, women and children are vulnerable to sexual exploitation due to poverty, a lack of education and a lack of job opportunities. This causes many young girls to experience extreme trauma by the time they become teenagers.
This is where Face of Justice (FOJ) comes in. FOJ’s mission is to serve to defend, shelter, empower and love survivors of human trafficking & sexual exploitation and the men, women and children working in prostitution in Central America through Intervention, Prevention & Restoration. FOJ is the only organization of its kind in Costa Rica with dedicated housing and specialized care for these girls to experience healing, community, education and life skills training.
In partnership with the Maestro Cares Foundation, the Hovde Foundation is working with FOJ to build “Casa Hovde Maestro Cares”. This Hovde Home will benefit 24 girls that are victims of sex-trafficking and forced prostitution by giving them a place to recover and the tools needed to lead healthy, happy lives. Construction of this Hovde Home will begin in 2020.
To learn more about Face Of Justice, please visit faceofjustice.org.