Children are being trafficked around the globe for sex. Pedophilia is growing at an astonishing rate, and Cartagena, Colombia is a global hub for the underage sex trade. We're trying to make a difference in the lives of at-risk moms and their children in Cartagena, to take these precious young lives off the radar of the traffickers.
Are you interested in joining us on a five-day trip to Cartagena to see the scale of the problem for yourself? Read to the bottom to find out more.
There, you'll meet women like Wendy, a strong and resilient Venezuelan single mother in her mid-30s. In search of a better life for her family, she left Venezuela four years ago and arrived in Cartagena. Determined to avoid resorting to prostitution, Wendy turned to selling candies on the streets - a tough way to make a living - but it kept her children fed when they were once starving.
Wendy tries to steer clear of the darkness that lurks in Cartagena's streets. However, she lives in constant fear for her children's safety. The disturbing reality is that pedophiles and traffickers prey on innocent children like Wendy's, and the risk of losing them to the horrors of the sex trade looms larger every day, especially for her oldest daughter, who is twelve.
For almost three years, donors affiliated with the Hot Zone podcast have been generously to provide Wendy with a safe apartment, where she has taken in other struggling mothers and their children. She now has fifteen people living in her modest apartment.
Our mission is to transform not just Wendy's life - but to empower as many women as possible to support their families away from the scourge of prostitution and trafficking. We want to help Wendy with a simple business that can lift her and her children off the streets, out of harm's reach. By doing so, we aim to break the vicious cycle of poverty and vulnerability that affects so many in Cartagena.
Through this fundraiser, we seek to raise $20,000 to provide Wendy with the necessary resources and support to become a legal resident of Colombia, launch her business and hopefully employ other women in similar situations. With your generous contributions, we can make this vision a reality and protect these innocent children from falling victim to the despicable world of exploitation.
If you are interested in joining us September 11-16* (dates may change slightly) in Cartagena to see the problem first hand, contact Chuck Holton on facebook, twitter or at his gmail address: hotzoneholton. (figure it out.).
We are looking for about six to ten people who want to go to Cartagena and get an up-close view of the problem, and spend some time helping us do something to fix it. We plan a five-night trip to this hub in northern Colombia, where we will be looking for ways to help as many women and girls as possible.
Costs of the trip will run about $600 for transportation and lodging, airfare from the US can be found for as low as $500. Food is your only on-the-ground expense, which is relatively inexpensive. This is not meant to be a luxury trip, nor a standard "mission trip." Our hope is that those who see with their own eyes will be moved to do something about it, and we want to partner together to make a lasting difference, not just for a week.
Donate now and share this campaign with your friends, family, and communities to spread the word and create a network of support for Wendy and her children.
To see more about Wendy and how we met her, watch this episode of the Hot Zone Podcast: