Freedom Network USA

Ana is an indigenous Mayan woman who was recruited by a woman in her Central American village who promised her a good job in the U.S. When Ana arrived, she was taken to rural Florida, where she began to work at a plant nursery run by Juan. After a few weeks, Juan began to charge Ana for her food, rent and clothing. Ana worked every day for 12 hours and the little money she made went to pay for her food and clothes. After six months, Juan raped Ana and demanded that she keep working for him. Ana wanted to flee but was living in a remote area, is illiterate and only speaks her indigenous language. She was forced to work and live as Juan’s “wife” for 10 years, ultimately having three of his children. Juan threatened that Ana would never see her children again if she left. One day, Ana risked everything and called the police, who responded quickly. Ana obtained a T visa and services to help her recover from the abuse. She now lives in safety with her three children.

*These are not actual photos of the survivors depicted in the story. In order to protect their confidentiality, alternate images and names have been applied.