La Ceiba is a Caribbean paradise and a city of sharp contrasts where chronic poverty exists side-by-side with a booming tourism and entertainment industry.
SOS Children's Villages started work in La Ceiba in 1984 in response to the severe hardship endured by many inhabitants and the increasing number of orphaned and abandoned children living in risky conditions on the streets.
Chronic poverty is a serious social challenge in a Caribbean paradise
La Ceiba is located on the northern coast of Honduras and has a population of around 200,000 people. The port city was founded in 1877 and named after a giant ceiba tree that stood until late 2007. La Ceiba is known as the eco-tourism capital of Honduras due to its proximity to many parks and natural reserves.
La Ceiba’s natural beauty and prosperity through tourism contrast sharply with the grim reality of every day life for its inhabitants. Many children live in extreme poverty and face neglect and abuse. The majority of children are malnourished. Crowded living conditions, inadequate infrastructure, brutal gang violence and the threat of natural disaster compound a life of hardship faced by La Ceiba’s poorest residents.
Each year, children leave their homes in rural areas and come to La Ceiba in the hope of finding work. Many are forced to work in informal employment and make a small living begging, selling merchandise or shining shoes.
Child prostitution has also increased as a result of chronic poverty. Without the care and protection of their parents, these children are at risk of abuse and without access to education it is very difficult for them to break the cycle of poverty.
We provide children with long-term support
The Honduras government is aware of the plight of its children and has put in place a number of initiatives to help. These initiatives are an excellent foundation for future work. However, there is
an immediate need for long-term care options for children who can no longer live with their parents.
The majority of children growing up without the protection and care of their parents often find they have no option but to take to the streets for survival. Their hardships are intensified by malnourishment and a lack of education, giving them little hope for making a change for the better in their future. In response to the dire living conditions of many young Hondurans, SOS Children's Villages has intensified its efforts in the country.
SOS Children's Village
The SOS Children’s Village was established in La Ceiba in the mid-1980s. The Village is home to several SOS families who provide a loving and stable environment for children who are no longer able to live with their parents. Up to 119 children can be cared for by the SOS families, which give children the opportunity to experience a carefree childhood alongside their SOS brothers and sisters and under the guidance of an SOS Mother.
Medical treatment and educational support
Once our SOS children are ready to leave the family home, they are able to move into semi-independent girls’ and boys’ living as they continue their higher education or vocational training. Our young people are supported through the SOS Youth Programme, and prepare to make the transition to adulthood with the assistance of qualified SOS counsellors.
Vulnerable children in La Ceiba need your support. When you become a child sponsor, you will give them hope and ensure they receive everything they need to flourish.