TIJUANA, Baja California (NEXSTAR) — Sex workers in Tijuana, Mexico say Americans continue to cross the border from California in search of sex. That’s despite the fact businesses, bars and sex hotels were asked to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to CNN, nearly 8,000 sex workers are registered with the government and there are likely many more who haven’t registered.
CNN spoke with Alejandra, who has been illegally working during the pandemic to keep her bills paid.
“Things are really bad for me, right now,” Alejandra told CNN. “I’m constantly worried, every single day.”
She said she’s dealing with unsafe working conditions while also watching her customer base decline. However, she notes she’s still serving clients from America.
“I just have no idea what’s going to happen, or if I’m going to get infected,” she said in the interview.
She’s put additional safety measures in place like requiring her customers to shower and use hand sanitizer. Though conditions are risky, Alejandra feels she has no other choice to provide for her daughter.
“If I don’t work, we don’t eat,” she said. “What will I do tomorrow if I end up getting sick? But I still have to go out even though I don’t want to.”
Mexico’s exotic dancer industry is also facing challenges. Some companies have adapted to at-home performances to get around pandemic protocol.
“Mi Ultimo Beso” manager Valente Estrada said he dedicated himself to develop a sanitary protocol that would allow the company to continue operating their business and keeping their 50 employees working during the pandemic.
Prior to the quarantine lockdown, the company performed 15 shows per week. Now, they are doing between three and five. Estrada said they also offer a 10 percent discount.
A 1.5 hour show with three dancers costs approximately $160, said Estrada.
Estrada’s health protocol includes having a person in charge of the sanitary measures, who measures oxygenation levels and temperatures of everyone who will be in the room, including dancers and clients.
The space designated as stage is disinfected and markers are placed on the floor indicating safe social distances.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.