When visiting the Dominican Republic in August and seeing my husband’s family, his aunt unexpectedly passed away. We had to return to Esperanza and try to find any place to stay at the last minute. We found an Airbnb at one of only two listings in Esperanza and inquired about staying. They would not give an address but agreed to meet us and show us where.
When my husband’s cousin realized where it was, he questioned them and they admitted it was a “rent by the hour” flophouse popular with locals to drive up with prostitutes and pay as they leave. When they opened a room up to show how “clean” it was, the walls were “decorated” with obscene photos and the only channel on TV was pornography.
My mother in law in her grief, and my seven-year-old son and young daughter surely would have been uncomfortable (to say the least) just to stand in that place, much less lay their heads down on a bed with more uses than a taxi. I contacted Airbnb because my experiences have been very good and I expected them to have a sense of how serious this could have been for an unsuspecting young woman or teacher for example. Honestly in a country that has a huge sex trafficking problem (in the shadows of course) this could have been a disaster.
Was Airbnb concerned? See the pictures and that listing is still on the site at the time of this submission.