Americas & the Caribbean

SOS Children's Villages in the Americans and the Caribbean

The Americas and the Caribbean: A Region Impaired by Poverty

Poverty is widespread, in fact, 1 in 5 Latin Americans live in chronic poverty.  Coupled with the contextualization that 19.5 percent of children compared to 9.2 percent of adults worldwide are victims of poverty, a grim reality emerges. 

Guatemala has the highest poverty rate across the region with nearly 60 percent living below the poverty line - comparable to the poorest countries in Africa. By comparison, the rate in wealthier places such as Chile are at around 10 percent.

Challenges faced by Children: Racial and Economic Inequality

Many countries across the region are plagued by racial inequality as a result of their colonial pasts. Peru’s indigenous population are forcibly exempted from the recent economic progress of the country, isolated in rural areas.

In Brazil, the poverty rate in Santa Catarina is 5 percent but 40 percent in CearĂ¡ demonstrating the full range of economic inequality within a single nation. Argentina’s rural populations have yet to recover from the 2002 economic disaster and thus the statistic that Argentina has one of the lowest poverty rates across the continent with 11 percent papers over the cracks.

Building from Ground up: Our Work in the Region

SOS is invested in the local communities, improving lives from the ground up. Public services are in many places not able to help particular the rural communities.

To tackle the rampant poverty there is a focus on youth – much of the Latin American population is under 19 years old, 35 percent of Paraguay’s population is under 14 years old. If they are provided with the right foundations to fulfill their potential then things can improve one step at a time. This partly done through SOS youth centers, where mentorship is provided build their confidence guiding them on their journey to success.   

Family Strengthening: Helping Entire Families

Family strengthening programs help children by helping the entire family stay together, regardless of their present difficulties. These vulnerable families in places such as Bolivia are in touch directly with SOS and provided with vocational training, food, medical care, day-care for their young children and so much more.