Santa Tecla

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

In central El Salvador, Santa Tecla is home to 122,000 – 213,000 in the metropolitan area. It is only 15 kilometres away from San Salvador, the country’s capital city, and is situated at the foot of the San Salvador Volcano. El Salvador is densely populated with a particular concentration around its capital – 74 per cent of the population lives in urban areas. In Santa Tecla, a heavily urbanized area, many residents are internal migrants who moved here from other areas of the country in search of a better life. However, many continue to face social and economic challenges in Santa Tecla.

Since 1982, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Santa Tecla.

Of children have experienced violence

Children exposed to violence

In El Salvador, 52% of children under the age of 14 have experience physical and/or psychological violence by their caregivers. Violent discipline is a violation of children’s rights – but it is also the most common form of violence experienced by children. Being exposed to violence at a young age can be particularly harmful, given the increased potential for physical injuries. Children are unable to understand the motivation behind the act or to adopt coping strategies to alleviate their distress. Families need support so that children can grow up in safe and protective homes, free from violence or abuse.

2 out of 100
People in EL Salvador are in jail

Crime affects families

In El Salvador, gang violence harms communities and puts many Salvadoran children and young people at risk of falling into a lifetime of crime. But imprisoning children is not the solution. In 2022, changes to the country's juvenile criminal code have meant that children aged 12 to 15 who commit a crime as part of a criminal organization can be punished with up to 10 years in prison. From the age of 16, they even face up to 20 years. Prison is not a favorable environment for their development and does not help them reintegrate into society.

Your support makes a difference for children in Santa Tecla

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.
Can take part in our trainings
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Studying at home. Access to the internet and online learning has become increasingly important to children and young people (photo: SOS Children’s Villages El Salvador).

How your support helps in Santa Tecla

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run training so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start their own businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education and training
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning. Adults who seek our support can take part in our workshops and training, so that they can improve their employment situation.
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.