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Survivor's Side: Rescued Joy, Freedom, and Hope
A Young Man From Guatemala Envisions a Bright Future
"It is amazing to be able to laugh again," said Ricardo, a native of Guatemala and survivor of labor trafficking who found help from Opening Doors this August. "I once saw nothing but darkness, but now I see a bright light."
What used to be called slavery is now called human trafficking. There are more slaves now than ever before. Nearly 20,000 men, women, and children are trafficked into the U.S. every year.
Opening Doors helped Ricardo find safety and normalize his life. "They gave me a fresh start and a chance to prove I can be more than a slave," he said.
About 75% of the survivors of trafficking that we help in a given year are victims of labor trafficking. 19% of our participants are men like Ricardo.
"We are not victims, but survivors," said Ricardo. With support from local law enforcement and agencies like Opening Doors, these survivors are given options after months or even years of not having a choice. "Sometimes you don't see the open door, even when it's right in front of you."
Opening Doors has helped nearly 90 human trafficking survivors regain their freedom. We support law enforcement during trafficking interventions, provide survivors with a home and basic necessities, and connect them with legal, health and social services.
With our help, Ricardo contacted an attorney to take legal actions against his abuser, and he now has a fulfilling internship as a paralegal. Ricardo says he's been given "a dream and hope: basic things that humans needs to stay alive."