Portrait of Norma Angelica, a resident of Casa Xochiquetzal © Bénédicte Desrus
The residents of Casa Xochiquetzal in Mexico City range from the age of fifty-five to eighty-six, and at some point in their lives, they have all been sex workers. It’s a two-story house, with food and medical care provided by the government and public donations.
In exchange for a safe place to live, the women must participate in the daily chores and activities. They attend courses on human rights. Some write poetry; others paint. One does yoga on the patio.
French photographer Bénédicte Desrus has spent nearly eight years documenting life at Casa Xochiquetzal, beginning two years after it was founded by a woman and former sex worker named Carmen Muñoz and a passionate group of intellectuals and activists.