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

Down in southern Mexico, near the border with Guatemala, the city of Comitán has a population of over 166,000 people. It is part of the Chiapas state, a rural and indigenous region that is historically one of the most deprived areas in the country. With half of the population living in poverty, children often lack access to health services, social security and education. Its economy is based on tourism, agriculture and mining, meaning Comitán is vulnerable to environmental threats and freshwater is often inaccessible.

Since 1994, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Comitán.

Of children have never been to school in Comitán

Children need to go to school

In Comitán, and other southern states in Mexico, around 2% of children have never been to school. These children between the ages of 9 and 12, have never had access to any education. This is twice the national average. It highlights the inequality of wealth distribution and local resources between the north, centre and south of Mexico. If children and young people do not receive even the most basic education, it will be hard for them to make a living in the future. More needs to be done to support families so that children can go to school.

Of young people attend higher education

Young people need more training

In Comitán and other southern states in Mexico, only 18% of young people have a higher education. Once again, the situation is worse in Comitán – across the country, 22% of young people have attended higher education. Rural areas are most affected, with a 10 % national average, while 26 % of young people in urban zones get to access that level of higher education. Illiteracy statistics reflect this situation: 9 % of the Comitán population over 15 years old cannot read or write.

Your support makes a difference for children in Comitán

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.
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Attend our kindergarten
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Young people
Are supported on their way to independence
Children often have homework to do after school. (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Mexico).

How your support helps in Comitán

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 trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education and trainings
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. In Comitán, young children can attend our kindergarten – this gets them ready for primary school.
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.