The capital of the Chiapas state in southern Mexico, Tuxtla Gutiérrez is home to 604,000 people.
Most families live off farming and the coffee industry, with much of this tropical land in the hands of a few large estate owners.
The state of Chiapas is one of the most deprived states in Mexico. Those families in rural regions and from ethnic minorities are more likely to live in poverty.
Since 2003, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Tuxtla Gutiérrez.
Around 12% of the population in the Tuxtla Gutiérrez region lives in extreme poverty. This means that they lack access to social security, health services and basic housing.
For comparison, in the broader Mexico City area, the capital of the country, 6% of the local families live in extreme poverty – that is half the Tuxtla Gutiérrez figure.
Children and young people growing up here also lack access to school, and very often have to work to contribute to the family income.
Approximately 5.4 % of people over 15 years old who live in the Tuxtla Gutiérrez metropolitan area are considered illiterate – meaning they cannot read or write. Again, that is higher than the average illiteracy rate in the Mexico City metropolitan area – 1.8%.
63% of the people who cannot read and write are women. This limitation reduces the educational, social and professional opportunities for women. More support needs to be given to girls and women so that they can stay in education longer.