Tuxtla Gutiérrez is the capital of the State of Chiapas, which is on the south-eastern side of Mexico. It is also Mexico’s first “safe city” as pronounced by the federal government in 2011, and one of Financial Times’ “cities of the future.”
About 46% of the population of Chiapas live in Tuxtla, and more than 50% are under the age of 30. However, 47% of those living in Tuxtla are in poverty.
With the growing number of residents in the city, the demand for land, infrastructure, and social service has grown exponentially. Unfortunately, the government is unable to provide sufficiently especially to those living in low income areas. Some of the problems facing the Tuxtla government are the illegal tapping of water, illegal settlements, poverty and social exclusion.
The city has an invisible line dividing the rich and poor wherein the medium to upper class live in the western side of Tuxtla while the lower income and slum areas are located in the north and east of the city.
Challenges faced by children
The 1994 uprising of the Zapatistas, although non-violent, was a wake-up call about the urgency to attend to the needs of the poor - instead of an almost exclusive development agenda that benefits a select group of people. The ongoing fight for equal rights and job creation by the indigenous minorities in Tuxtla has directly affected the children.
Some of the problems faced by children of Tuxtla are malnutrition, poor education, insufficient health care, and lack of facilities for the disabled. Yet the government continues to invest in the west side of the city, paying little attention to those living in the slums and rural areas. The 26% illiteracy rate is higher in Tuxtla than the rest of Mexico, compared to the 9% national average.
How do we help children in Tuxtla Gutiérrez?
SOS Children's Villages began working in Tuxtla in 2003. The main objective was to provide support for the children with disabilities, including education, therapy, and extra-curricular activities. We started with a medical treatment centre, therapy centre, social centre, four training workshops, and eight out-patient houses. The therapy services we offer include speech, occupational, psychological, and physical therapies.
Today, there are over 70 children in our Children's Village in Tuxtla Gutiérrez. Here, children with special needs are cared for in family homes, and receive professional support for their individual needs. We also take care of the educational needs of these children.
Our community outreach work supports local families, and offers training for parents, day-care services, vocational training, and counselling.
Children growing up in our Village in Tuxtla Gutiérrez are unique. Each needs intensive support and special care. Your help will ensure they reach their potential. Please, sponsor a child today.