October 28, 2011: An estimated 300,000 people in El Salvador are in urgent need of help after heavy rains caused widespread flooding across Central America.
Flooding outside SOS-San Vicente in El Salvador
Heavy rains in Central America, which began on October 10th as a result of low-pressure weather systems, have lasted for ten days or more in parts of the region, causing more than 120 deaths and impacting around 1.24 million people in El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras and Costa Rica.
According to the UN, the widespread damage to agriculture and infrastructure has left El Salvador "facing one of the greatest disasters in its history". The amount of rain recorded was the highest in 50 years - even more than during Hurricane Mitch in 1998.
Nearly 56,000 people and an estimated 20,000 homes have been flooded, as well as 1,200 water wells.
Effects on SOS Children's Villages Programs in El Salvador
SOS is helping families enrolled in Family Strengthening Programs in San Vicente, Sonsonate and San Miguel by providing them with food and aid supplies.
Many of these communities have been flooded and families have been forced to evacuate their homes and are now in temporary shelters.
In the SOS Children's Village San Miguel, one house has been damaged due to a leaking roof and the family is staying temporarily in a nearby SOS Youth Home. SOS has also evacuated families from the SOS Children's Village Santa Ana and San Vincente which are at great threat of flooding.
SOS Children's Villages in El Salvador
Since 1972, SOS has been providing the security and comfort of a loving home to children in need. SOS-Sonsonate, the first SOS Children's Village in El Salvador, has a total of 14 family houses.
The extreme social differences between rich and poor in the country, as well as the ever-present threat of natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, have left their mark on Salvadorian society. The number of orphaned and abandoned children continue to rise as a result of the years of trouble.
In 2005, SOS Children’s Villages started to operate Family Strengthening Programs, which educate families by giving them the skills and training necessary to continue providing for their children. At present there are five SOS Children's Villages, four SOS Youth Facilities, one SOS Vocational Training Center as well as six SOS Social Centers in El Salvador.
Please help SOS continue to provide for children and families in need by making a donation now.