NELI

My dream is to be a businesswoman and employ those in poverty and young women in order to prevent them from falling prey to traffickers.

I grew in a very poor community with no running water, electricity or indoor plumbing. My father died the month before I was to finish high school and my family completely collapsed. I was without home, without  money and grieving. I used to eat cheap apples and coffee. That’s all I could afford. It made me easy prey for a charming man who promised to care for me, offering marriage and eternal love.  But the promise of marriage was just a trick. My suitor was, in reality, a human trafficker.  One day he told me “I gave my life for you and you’re also going to have to give yours for me. I’m struggling financially so you’re going to have to help me by being a sex-worker in Mexico City.” I was soon forced to work in an alley in La Merced, a notorious red-light district in Mexico City until a police raid finally set me free.

With the passing of time, I have been able to regain my trust in people and in myself.  I realized that I could help others, and because of this, I have shared my story with more than 4000 people. Reintegra has helped me in my studies and with the pursuit of a degree. In 2016, I graduated with a degree in business administration at the University of La Salle. In 2017, I opened a take-out chicken restaurant. My dream is to use my degree to open a franchise of businesses so that other survivors and people in poverty can manage, giving them jobs.  I also dream of using my platform as an advocate around the world to help prevent other girls from being prey to Human Trafficking networks.

Neli