Latino Sex Trade. Lives of truck drivers
This book is the work of the entire ILPES team, rather than of one person. If I sign my
name as the author, it is because the more radical theories about truckers are my own
harvest, and it would be unfair to condemn the rest of the team to share and suffer them
Several people played a key role key in providing the information for this book. Johnny
Madrigal’s study on long-distance truckers, Al Vaivén de un cabezal (Riding in a cab) A
Study on truckers in Central America and their relation to Aids, (San Jose, Editorial
ILPES, 1998), financed by the Dutch Embassy in Costa Rica and ILPES, served as a first
draft and basic proposition for this book. On the basis of this research, various colleagues
at ILPES chose to participate in this effort in different ways.
Dino Starcevic was responsible for many of the ethnographic observations and made very
valuable contributions to this work. Several chapters are based on his reports and on my
own observations and interviews. Katia Castellón provided an excellent analysis of the
Paso Canoas truck yard and wrote Chapter V, among her other contributions. Luis
Villalta contributed with his study on brothels. A sex worker, whom we will call Anita,
conducted additional interviews with her co-workers and, in Chapter XIII she presents a
defense of her profession that reflects her own artistic abilities.
The collaboration of the National University’s Institute of Latin American Studies
(IDELA) was also crucial to this work, and I am most grateful for the time invested in
My work is also based on the stories told by Bolivar, a friend and expert on truckers, who
has had numerous emotional and sexual relations with these men. His relationship with
Luis served as a guide to help me understand what machismo is and is not.
Although this book is the result of teamwork, the final responsibility for what is written
here is mine. To protect the protagonists’ privacy, all names have been changed and some
stories have been altered to prevent their identification, both by the interviewees and the
researchers. As an institution committed to fighting for the rights of sexual minorities, we
are aware that it is essential to cover our tracks in these small and sometimes intolerant
counties. We have also noted that a simple change of name is not always sufficient to
prevent people’s identification.
Therefore, readers should not assume that some of the relationships described here, even
though they are true, might be associated with anyone from the team, including the
author. Even less so with the interviewees.
Jacobo Schifter Sikora