Published On: Wed, Mar 26th, 2014

Sea Cucumber in exchange for Sex

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Prostitution is being practiced in the fishing villages along the Yucatecan coast, but the sex services are being exchanged for sea cucumber.

During the season of sea cucumber in the camps where this echinoderm is caught and processed, women between 15 and 40 years old are offering “sexual services”, according to the locals. This investigation was made with fishermen from San Felipe.

These women, are original from towns such as Hunucma, Rio Lagartos, Dzilam Bravo, Valladolid, Progreso, Tizimín and others. Instead of cash, they ask for 10 kilos of sea cucumber for each service.

In the evenings, there are boaters that take these women to the fishing camps. Services are provided on makeshift areas in the middle of the mangroves.

According to one of the fishermen interviewed by, some of these women sometimes leave the camp with up to 120 kilos of sea cucumber, making a profit of almost $5,000 pesos per day.

“The ages of these prostitutes range between 15 and 40 years old. They prefer to get paid with product instead of cash, since they can get $400 pesos for every ten kilos,” one of the fisherman declared.

“Most of the men request these services because they are away from their wives and no one sees them. Women leave before dusk. Others wait until dawn and sometimes ask the fishermen to take them back to port.”

One of the fishermen stated that this could be unhygienic, but they know they need to use condoms and they use buckets of salt water for cleaning purposes.

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