SOS Children’s Villages established a presence in Tegucigalpa in 1970 in response to increasing crime rates and a high incidence of poverty and unemployment.
Infrastructure in the Honduran capital has been unable to keep pace with rapid population growth, and overcrowding and poverty are serious social challenges.
Overwhelming population growth
The city of Tegucigalpa is the Honduran capital and its political and administrative centre. The city has a colonial history spanning 400 years and is a tourist destination for around 300,000 visitors each year.
Tegucigalpa is thought to have a population of between 1.2 and 1.3 million people and due to overwhelming population growth, the city’s infrastructure is badly strained. Overcrowding and poverty are serious social challenges faced by Tegucigalpa’s residents and authorities. National and local governments are working on initiatives to improve existing infrastructure and reduce poverty levels in the city.
Poverty clouds children's future
Children make up 40% of the population in Tegucigalpa, and many of them live in extremely difficult conditions facing severe poverty, malnutrition and gang violence on a daily basis. Many children who end up on the streets have little choice but to join one of the numerous ‘maras’, or youth gangs for support and protection. Once children are part of a gang, it becomes almost impossible to break the cycle of poverty, crime, and drugs, even once the child reaches adulthood.
Child labour is another common by-product of the rising poverty rates. Children often need to work to ensure their family’s survival and can be seen in informal labour, selling merchandise, shining shoes or cleaning cars at traffic lights.
Education is the key to a brighter future
Today, over 150,000 children are growing up without the support of their parents, and many of these children are living in Tegucigalpa. Many children in Honduras are unable to access education and a high proportion is unable to read or write. As more and more children are forced to give up schooling in favour of working in order to survive, their prospects for the future are narrowed and their mental and physical development are threatened.
Our work in Tegucigalpa
The SOS Children’s Village has been supporting vulnerable children in the region since the early 1970s. SOS families provide a stable and loving home environment for children who are no longer able to live with their parents. Our SOS families allow children to grow up with their SOS siblings, and cared for by an affectionate SOS Mother.
The SOS Children’s Village now includes a library and a large playground where children can spend their spare time, and since clean water can be scarce at times in Tegucigalpa, the Village also has its own well.
When children are ready to move out of the family home to continue their education or vocational training, they are supported through the SOS Youth Programme and receive guidance from professional counsellors. Our young people maintain close contact with their SOS Mother and siblings as they make the transition to adulthood.
Thousands of children in Tegucigalpa have no family who can care for them. In these dire circumstances, we provide them with a new loving home and all the support they need to thrive. You can sponsor one of these children today.