Sponsor a Child in the Americas
In the Americas we currently care for approximately 13,000 sponsored children in 126 SOS Children's Villages. Many of these children were former street children, abandoned or orphaned as a result of poverty, conflict or disaster.
Our Family Strengthening Programmes (programmes that help families in the wider community stay together), SOS Medical Centres and SOS Social Centres provide services for about 100,000 more children and their families in Central and Southern America.
SOS South America Child Sponsorship
We have been working in Argentina since 1979, and currently run four SOS Children's Villages, amongst a wealth of Family Strengthening Programmes.
We are helping more than 13,000 people through our work in
In total, there are nine SOS
Children's Villages in the country, including two in Cochabamba.
Our work in Brazil helps about 1,700 children directly, in our 15
SOS Children's Villages. We reach a further 10,000 through Family
Strengthening Programmes and our other services, such as SOS Social Centres.
Since SOS Children opened its first SOS Children's Village in Concepción in 1965, a further 13 have been built, bringing the total to 14. After the powerful earthquake in Chile in 2010, SOS Children was able to provide support to families affected by the earthquake.
We began our work in Colombia in 1971. We support about 700 children directly, in our villages, and we support another 8,000 people through education, healthcare and Family Strengthening Programmes
We have been working in Ecuador since 1963, when an SOS Children's Village was opened in the capital, Quito. There are now six SOS Children's Villages in the country. Most offer extensive Family Strengthening Programmes to the wider community.
We began working in Paraguay in 1970. Today there are six SOS Children's Villages, one of which is specifically for handicapped children. There are also numerous supplementary social welfare and medical facilities which also benefit the wider community.
Our work in Peru started in 1975. Today there are eight SOS Children's Villages in Peru which are home to over 850 children and young people. In addition there are fifteen projects attached to the villages providing education, social and medical care for the local communities.
We established our first SOS Children's Village in 1985, about seven miles from the city of Salto in north-west Uruguay. Two more SOS Children's Villages, one in the capital Montevideo and the other in Florida, have since been constructed.
At present there are three SOS Children's Villages, three SOS Youth Homes, two SOS Nurseries, one SOS School, two SOS Vocational Training Centres and three SOS Social Centres in Venezuela. These are located in the north-west of the country.
SOS Central America Child Sponsorship
SOS Children has operated in Costa
Rica since 1975. Amongst the three SOS
Children's Villages in the country, Hogar Luz is a specially designed village that only cares for
Richer than Haiti, the neighbour it shares the island Hispaniola with, the Dominican
Republic still has a high poverty rate. It currently has three SOS Children's Villages, and we have been working there since the 1980's.
A small and industrialised country, El Salvador is also one of the most violent and crime-ridden countries in the Americas. We currently have five SOS Children's Villages in the country.
SOS Children began working in Guatemala in 1976 following an earthquake which totally destroyed the Indian town of San Juan Sacatepéquez, 30 km from Guatemala City.
After the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010, SOS Children took in many
unaccompanied and orphaned children. We have been working in the
country since 1982 and currently have two SOS Children's Villages there. We provide long term emergency relief work in Haiti.
There are eight SOS Children's Villages in Honduras, all of which are located on the more densely populated west side of the country. An SOS Children's Village in Choluteca was built due to the large number of children left orphaned or unaccompanied after Hurricane Mitch hit in 1998.
We have two villages on the Caribbean island of Jamaica. These are Stony Hill, near
the capital city of Kingston, and Barrett Town, on the north-west of
the island. We have been working on the island since 1972.
At present we support over 2,700 people in Mexico through eight SOS Children’s Villages, seven SOS Youth Homes, one SOS School, one SOS Vocational Training Centre and seven SOS Social Centres.
We began working in Nicaragua in 1973 following an earthquake which effectively destroyed the capital of Managua. We built an SOS Children's Village in Esteli in north-west Nicaragua, about 150 km from the capital. There are now six SOS Children's Villages, as well as numerous social welfare and educational projects which also benefit local communities.
We have been working in Panama since 1982, when the first community was opened on the edge of Panama city. Two more have since been opened, in David and Penonomé.
The Story of SOS Child Sponsorship in Latin America
SOS Children's activities in Latin America were started in the 1960s. The SOS Children's Villages were a completely new concept in Latin America.
Ecuador was the first place in Latin America where an SOS Children's Village was built. A second Village was built in Uruguay. Chile was the third country that SOS Children started working in.
Apart from French Guyana, Guyana, Belize, Suriname and some Caribbean islands, SOS Children works in all the countries of South, Middle and Central America.
In Latin America in recent years an emphasis has been placed on family support, on building up different social facilities and community-based programmes for disadvantaged families and street children. Single mothers form one of the most troubled groups in society, partly because they have fewer education opportunities.
SOS Children provides support in many locations: we hold courses, support networks of families who help each other; we offer education opportunities, an employment service and loans, and we have nurseries and advice centres, which all improve the prospects for families and their children in the long term.
Natural disasters, emergencies and violent conflicts have in recent decades repeatedly required humanitarian intervention; permanent facilities have often resulted from these emergency relief measures.
These are some examples:
- Aid after the serious earthquake in and around Mexico
City in 1985
- Helping refugees in the Mexican State of
SOS Children's Village was built for orphans following a serious
earthquake in Guatemala
- Emergency relief and construction of facilities in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua following Hurricane Mitch in 1998
- Support following the floods
landslides in Haiti
in 2004 as well as after the Haiti
earthquake in 2010.
- In March 2010, an earthquake struck Chile and we provided support for some of those affected.