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MAE Bags :: Dustin Woida


Dustin Woida, soon to be extended family at The Well, saw a need and created a unique way to fill that need in a way that empowers. Dustin created MAE Bags.


Prostitution is a problem world wide, but the issue of prostitution in Costa Rica captured our attention. Prostitution is legal in Costa Rica, and the legal age to work the streets is only 16. As tourism grows in this beautiful country so does the problem, as business men and travelers feed the industry. Prostitution has been watered down from taboo to culturally acceptable, and men flock to submit to their lust in a place where they can feel like it is okay.

we wanted to do something. that’s where mae-bags came from: recognizing so many beautiful people just needed hope; just needed something to help them Make An Escape from what’s increasingly becoming so common.

we started making bags in may 2009. each bag is hand-crafted and hand-numbered, constructed from recycled burlap coffee bags. made from coffee bags from all over the world, every single bag is unique – no two bags look the same.

joined with groups that already have a presence in Costa Rica like Students International and local churches, we’re giving support directly to the women who need it, not funneling it through giant corporate aid organizations. we plan on setting up a bag production studio in Costa Rica too, so the young women escaping prostitution will be able to learn skills to sustain a new lifestyle.


the goal is simple: to Make An Escape for these young women and their children. proceeds from these bags goes toward a safe work place and empowering young prostitutes with skills to become self sufficient. we only hope to give them options, to give them a choice other than selling their bodies. we want to love these women who have nothing to offer us. we want to give to them, give them opportunities to escape, to learn, and to better themselves, breaking the cycle that is so frequently passed down to kids. we hope to give to them rather than take from them as so many others have.


we are currently working on building our online shopping cart to make purchasing a bag easy. until then though, please check out the dates above to see where we’ll be, or send an email to contact us directly:

each bag is $40

that covers the cost per bag of $15 (materials, labor)

and sends $25 per bag directly to the young women escaping the streets of Costa Rica, supporting them with resources, encouragement, and very soon, the skills to make and sell their own bags to support themselves and their kids.




One Comment leave one →
  1. Paige Solberg permalink

    I heard your story at the Well last June and would like to purchase a couple bags. Can you tell me where I can purchase them.

    Thank you,


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