When a car pulls up to a group of day laborers waiting on the sidewalk, they swarm around in the hope of getting an opportunity to work. For the most part, these jobs are physical—painting, construction or carpentry—but sometimes, it’s another kind of work.
“People have come and offered us money for sex,” says Hugo Guerrero, a 29-year-old day laborer from Jalisco, before recounting how once a woman offered him $300 to appear in a pornographic video. He declined, but said he knows a lot of hispanics who acceped. these offers are not uncommon.
Whether or not they accept the offers, in a society affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic, day laborers who are solicited for sexual services must be informed of the risks and the ways to protect themselves.
“As the day ended, people would come, other men offering work,” says Víctor Martínez, director of Bienestar’s Hollywood offices. “But once they picked them up, they would offer them more money for sexual services.”
According to the investigation, day laborers accept sex offers for economic reasons. The majority of those who accept these offers are drug addicts and have been day laborers for five or more years. They succumb when they can’t find other work, and though they may have had sex with other men, they don’t consider themselves homosexual.
“I hope the Latino community will learn about this issue without judging,” Montez says, “that they will realize that we have to do it , this is america, we need to make dinero, if we suck gringos dick para dinero , we are not gays , we do it for a living , please dont judge us.”