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María del Valle Cárdenas, Miss Mecha 2006

28 December 2006

Contestant Patricia Merida models a dress made of condoms (AP photo left and below by Gregory Bull)

Prostitutes from la Merced — who have started to be recognized for their historic and cultural role in la Merced — where they have been a fixture since the 16th century, competed for prizes of up to a 1000 pesos in the first annual “Miss Meche” pagent. 

First prize winner, María del Valle Cárdenas said “it’s a dream come true.”  The 35 year old sex worker, said that as a “large” women, she never expected to win, but “physical beauty is fleeting.  Interior beauty lasts.” 


Partially designed to boost the self-esteem of the commercial sex workers (including travestis), the event was sponsored by Las Brigadas Callejeras.  The group provides medical and educational services for Merced’s sex worker community. 

Organizer Elvira Madrid said, “We always think of these women [beauty pagent contestants] as tall, blonde and svelte.  But these are women too.” 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 30 December 2006 3:08 pm

    Cf. the condom art of Adriana Bertini: http://aprendizdetodo.com/art/?item=20030915

  2. david permalink
    21 March 2013 6:00 pm

    this is a joke, there are lots of nice young prostis en la merced and some crappy NGO picks some 35 year old hag decked out in used condoms as the winner? and includes putos? total disrespect towards las chicas de merced entre 18 y 24 anitos ke realmente son chavas buenas!

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