Santa Ana

SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages El Salvador).

The second largest city in El Salvador, Santa Ana is located 64 kilometres northwest of San Salvador, the capital city, and has approximately 375,000 inhabitants. Surrounded by green hills, most people work in the service industry or live off coffee farming. But local families often face difficult socio-economic conditions. Organized crime leads to violence and insecurity, and the safety, health and education of children must be ensured to achieve long-term improvement and a peaceful society.

Since 1985, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Santa Ana.

Of urban growth is in informal settlements

Informal settlements

Between 2001 and 2010, 45% of the urban growth in Santa Ana took place in informal settlements. That means that 45% of urban development happened in conditions that harmed the health, safety and opportunities of the residents. In these slums there is a higher number of people living in poverty and vulnerable to crime. Lack of access to basic services is a common constraint. Families and children living in these inadequate homes have worse health, and lower chances of accessing any professional and educational opportunities available in the city.

Of children aged 5-14 are forced to work

Young people need more training

Education is free, but in many cases parents can’t afford fees or uniforms, and so children do not go to school. In El Salvador, 96% of children complete primary school. This is a good number but unfortunately only 44% make it to upper secondary school. Around 4% of children across the country are working, and they often drop out of school. In some cities, and Santa Ana is one of them, there are night classes on offer, so that children can continue their education in spite of having to work.

Your support makes a difference for children in Santa Ana

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Doing homework for school. Children often do their homework together, helping each other out when needed (photo: SOS Children’s Villages El Salvador).

How your support helps in Santa Ana

Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Here the children can build safe and lasting relationships. All the children in our care have access to education and healthcare. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.