Sin senos no hay paraíso (Without Breasts There Is No Paradise) is a RTI Colombia–Telemundo remake and loose adaptation of the original Colombian series Sin tetas no hay paraíso. The series is based on investigative journalist Gustavo Bolivar's debut novel and features an attractive young prostitute who desires to have massive breast implants in order to attract a rich cocaine smuggler. It is also based on a true story. The series premiered on June 16, 2008.
Catalina Santana (Carmen Villalobos), a young woman in Pereira, Colombia, is willing to risk everything in order to escape the poverty she lives in and fulfill her dreams - even if this means putting her life and her integrity in jeopardy. Her mother Hilda (Catherine Siachoque), a lovely hard working woman with no resources to provide her children with luxuries, expends boundless energy in her efforts to push both her children, Catalina and her brother Byron (Juan Diego Sánchez) to prosper. In spite of their mother's efforts, Byron and Catalina's situation is filled with poverty and need.
Catalina is beautiful, but is not as voluptuous as her friends who render sexual services as "pre-paid girls" to powerful men in the drug trafficking world. Yessica "La Diabla" (María Fernanda Yépez), Catalina's best friend, entered this world with her own business: recruiting, selecting, and leading groups of women for whom the drug traffickers pay in advance to receive sexual services, which she introduces to Catalina this culture, convincing her that this is the only way she has to get away from her poverty. Once inside, Catalina falls into the manipulative hands of Lorena (Aylín Mújica), Yessica's Mexican equivalent, who together with Martinez, an important member of the Juarez Cartel, convinces inexperienced young women from Colombia to undergo breast surgery as a means of obtaining a better life in another country. What they don't know is that in reality he uses them as "mules", sending them to Mexico while smuggling cocaine in their implants.
Catalina, dazzled by a world of riches and a life full of luxuries, decides not to continue her relationship with her boyfriend Albeiro, a young man from her town who has very few ambitions, but loves her with all his heart. She decides to search for someone who can pay for or finance her surgery of silicon breast implants since, according to her belief, this will provide her the fame and wealth she longs for.
In the end, Catalina begins to remember how hard her life has been since she became a pre-paid girl: having an illegal abortion after being raped by three men, she faced the struggles in order to get her breasts augmented and the loss of her breast implants due to medical complications, the death of her brother Bayron, finding out that her mother and Albeiro (her boyfriend), were having a romantic relationship behind her back which resulted in her mother becoming pregnant, finally getting kicked out of her own house by her drug-dealer husband Marcial, after Yessica betrayed her and told Marcial that Catalina had lied to him (when in reality she felt disgust towards him) as well as the fact that she had a boyfriend back home who had cheated on her with her own mother. After all she is left feeling lost, forgotten, betrayed and alone. All these events cause Catalina to lose the will to live, and she tries to commit suicide but does not find the courage to pull through, so she decides to seek revenge and kill Yessica for betraying her by inviting her to a cafe and calling the hired killers, as she gives them the details to distinguish Yésica among the other people. The killers do their job and kill Yessica, by shooting her three times in the back, later to be shown that the girl killed is in fact, Catalina, who had a change of mind; instead of killing Yésica, she decided to plot her own assassination by disguising herself as Yéssica. Before getting killed, Catalina wrote in the book she was holding the line which gave the series its title, "It's a lie - without breasts there is no paradise."
Gustavo Bolivar's heroine is a prepago, or "pre-paid girl", which means she sells her services around-the-clock for a set period, hoping to make extra money. The screenwriter says Paraíso highlights an unflattering part of his country: teenagers in the Colombian narco-culture getting breast implants. According to Bolivar, he didn't imagine it would come to touch on a universal theme: "beauty based in vanity and its connection with money" and noted that no other book had denounced the drug dealers in such bad terms, the ignorant mothers who confuse love for their daughters with pimping, and the unscrupulous plastic surgeons.
Bolívar says the story is based on real-life conditions facing child prostitutes in the province (departamento) of Putumayo, Colombia. There he met two girls who were desperate for silicone breast implants. One told him that she got her operation in exchange for sex. Unfortunately, the doctor used a pair of used implants that led to allergic reactions and infection.
Telemundo began shooting the series at Telemundo's production centers in Bogotá and Girardot, Colombia, as well as its studio in Sinaloa, Mexico, on April 15, 2008. As with most of its soap operas, the network broadcast English subtitles as closed captions on CC3 until late October, when the network briefly canceled the translations. Captions were restored the following April. A version with on-screen English subtitles debuted on Mun2 in 2009.Carmen Villalobos as Catalina Santana
Catherine Siachoque as Hilda Santana
María Fernanda Yépez as Yésica Beltran
Aylín Mújica as Lorena Magallanes
Juan Diego Sánchez as Bayron Santana
Fabián Ríos as Albeiro Manrique
Gregorio Pernia as Aurelio "Titi" Jaramillo
Guillermo Quintanilla as Benjamín Martínez García
Alejandra Pinzón as Paola
Linda Baldrich as Natalia
Carolina Sepúlveda as Ximena
Carolina Betancourt as Vanessa
Laura Londoño as Lina Arango
Sofía Stamatiades as Julieta
Roberto Mateos as José Miguel Cárdenas
Gabriel Porras as Fernando Rey
Ramiro Meneses as Ramiro Duque / "Hombre Oscuro"
Danilo Santos as Cardona
Alí Humar as Pablo Morón
Juan Pablo Shuk as Mauricio Contento
César Mora as Marcial Barrera
Néstor Alfonso Rojas as Caballo
Camila as Angelica Blandon
In the summer of 2015, the complete telenovela was made available to stream on Netflix in the United States, along with a handful of other Telemundo programming.
NBC Universal commissioned Universal Media Studios to produce an English-language version of the serial, using a different cast and script.
On July 19, 2016, Telemundo began airing a sequel telenovela. The name of the sequel is Sin senos sí hay paraíso.