Children in Peru

In Peru, roughly 40% of the country’s population is less than 18 years old. Children and adolescents therefore represent Peru’s largest population segment. Over the past few years, the situation of the children in Peru has noticeably improved. Child mortality and under-five-mortality rates have dropped drastically, primarily owing to improved medical infrastructure, pre-birth control methods and educational efforts which aim to reduce the number of adolescent pregnancies.

Nonetheless, a persisting problem of Peruvian society is the omnipresent phenomenon of child labour. The child labour rate in Peru remains high at roughly 28%. In the capital city of Lima, ten year olds who shine shoes or sell merchandise in the streets are a common sight. Many of them originate from underprivileged families, who moved to Lima from rural areas in search of a better life. One of the most obvious long-term effects of child labour is that it takes children out of school either temporarily or permanently. Hence, children lack a decent education, which makes it even harder for them to break the vicious cycle of poverty. The illiteracy rate in Peru has dropped significantly from 10.1% in the year 2000 to 7% in 2010. Still, in remote areas access to education is sometimes limited. Due to the geographical distance, it often takes a very long time to get to school and regular attendance is not always possible. Many primary school children in rural Peru do not know how to read and write after the second year in school.

Our Children's Villages in Peru

We started our work in Peru in 1975. Today there are ten SOS Children’s Villages in Peru (one more is currently under construction) which are home to over 1200 children and young people. In addition, there are 27 projects attached to the Villages providing education, social support and vocational training to the communities local to them.


Zarate is the oldest SOS Children's Village in Peru. It was opened in 1975. It is about three miles from the centre of Lima, the capital of Peru. It has 16 family houses, a community centre, an SOS Nursery and a handicrafts workshop. There is also a small farm.


We opened our second SOS Children's Village at Esperanza in 1978. There are 12 family houses

Rio Hondo

The third SOS Children's Village is also located in Chosica. The SOS Children's Village at Rio Hondo has 12 family houses, a nursery, a community centre and a workshop. The children attend the local schools in Chosica.


In northern Peru, close to the border with Ecuador, about 475 miles from Lima, is the SOS Children's Village Chiclayo. It has 12 family houses, two SOS Youth Homes and a nursery. We set up two SOS Social Centres in Chiclayo to provide day care for children of working families and single mothers and other community support programmes.


In southern Peru lies Arequipa, the country's second largest city. The SOS Children's Village Arequipa is in Cerro Colorado in an area with good schools and other facilities which are used by the SOS Children's Village. It has 13 family houses and four youth houses. Two SOS Social Centres have also been established in Arequipa providing similar services to those in Chiclayo.


High in the Andes, and once the centre of the legendary Inca kingdom, Tahuantinsuyo, is a popular tourist attraction. The SOS Children's Village Cuzco, the sixth to be built in Peru, is close to the city centre, in the district of Santiago. Its 13 family houses and two SOS Youth Homes provide a family home for over 100 children and young people. There is also an SOS Social Centre providing community support programmes and child day-care.


Peru's seventh SOS Children's Village opened in 2000 in Huancayo, about 180 miles east of the capital, Lima. The 13 family houses in the SOS Children's Village Huancayo are home to more than 100 children. We run two SOS Social Centres that provide handicraft and household management courses for local women as well as a wide ranging education programme for local children.

Callao, Lima

The eighth community in Peru was opened in 2001. Callao is a district of Lima that has high unemployment and families on low incomes. The Village consists of 12 family houses and an SOS Social Centre that includes a day care centre for 120 pre-school children. In addition, an SOS Social Centre provides medical care for children and their families from the local community.


A ninth Village was opened over by SOS Children in Pachacamac in 2007. The Village has 8 family houses and two workshops, where carpentry, tailoring and gardening are taught. There is a sports ground, where the children can play and have fun. Small animals such as poultry and rabbits are kept in coops and hutches.


SOS Children began working in Juliaca in 2008. Today there is an SOS Children's Village which provides care for over 100 children who have lost their own family.


The tenth Village in Ayacucho opened in 2010 and an eleventh in Puno is being built, whilst we are already providing a temporary home for 30 children.


A city of nearly 300,000, Cajaramarca struggles with high poverty and poor health due to mining and population growth. We provide support to struggling families and a loving home for children who cannot live with their parents.

Family Strengthening Programmes


Local Contact

Aldeas Infantiles SOS Perú

Oficina Nacional/Padrinazgos


Casilla 4206

Lima 100


Tel: +51 /1/ 200 7800

Fax: +51 /1/ 224 2564



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You can help children who have lost their parents. They may have been orphaned by AIDS, natural disaster or conflict. Poverty may have forced their parents to give them up, or they may have been separated from their family by war.