Sponsor a child in Latin America
In North, Central and South America we care for approximately 9,000 sponsored children in 139 SOS Children's Villages. On this page, find out where you can sponsor a child across Latin America.
Many of these children were former street children, abandoned or orphaned as a result of poverty, conflict or disaster. Our family support programmes, SOS Medical Centres and SOS Social Centres provide services for over 150,000 children and their families in North, Central and South America.
SOS Children's Villages has worked in Costa Rica since 1975. One of the Children's Villages in the country is a specially designed to care for disabled children.
With over a third of people living in poverty, the Dominican Republic is one of the poorest countries in the Caribbean. We becan working in the Dominican in the 1980s and currently have three SOS Children's Villages in the country.
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's Villages 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's Villages 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.
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 landlocked Bolivia. 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's Villages 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's Villages 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.
The Story of SOS Child Sponsorship in Latin America
SOS Children's Villages' 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's Villages started working in.
Apart from French Guyana, Guyana, Belize, Suriname and some Caribbean islands, SOS Children's Villages 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's Villages 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 Chiapas.
- An SOS Children's Village was built for orphans following a serious earthquake in Guatemala in 1976.
- Emergency relief and construction of facilities in El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua following Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
- Support following the floods and landslides in Haiti in 2004 as well as after the Haiti earthquake in 2010.