The Chiloe Archipelago in southern Chile consists of one main island and some smaller islets. It has a population of 150,000 people, many of whom make a living through salmon fishing.
The town of Ancud, located on the northern part of the island, houses the SOS Children's Village and is home to 27,000 inhabitants.
Beautiful landscape hides dangerous and remote living conditions
Travel between Chiloe and the mainland involves a difficult and sometimes risky trip. The road between Puerto Montt and Pargua, which services the ferry to and from Chiloe, is poorly maintained, and many accidents occur every year. Those who reach Pargua then take an hour long trip by ferry which brings them over to the archipelago.
The lengthy, costly and sometimes dangerous journey leaves Chiloe isolated from the mainland and the remote location makes communication and contact difficult.
Few opportunities for education exist on the island
There were plans to build a bridge in the 1970's, but by 2006 these had been abandoned. Fishing, the main source of income in Chiloe, is a fragile business. In 2007 a virus infected thousands of salmon and devastated the local economy - 20,000 people found themselves suddenly unemployed and locked in unstable financial situations.
While many parts of Chile have seen a reduction of people living below the poverty line, Chiloe has experienced the opposite.On some parts of the island the amount of people living in impoverished conditions reaches up to 26% of the population and in these areas there are limited chances to make any kind of living. Families in these difficult circumstances cannot always survive and some children are abandoned, left without parental care or forced to flee an abusive household.
How SOS Children's Villages helps in Chiloe
SOS Children's Villages began work in Chiloe in 2003. At our Children's Village we care for children who can no longer live with their parents. Here orphaned and abandoned children can find a new home with an SOS family. Each child in our care is raised in a stable home with SOS brothers and sisters and the warm care of an SOS Mother.
You can help to transform a young life in Chiloe Ancud by sponsoring a child today. Through regular updates you will watch your sponsored child grow and flourish.