Last Updated: 03/23/2021

Due to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and years of extreme climate events, hunger has increased dramatically in El Salvador, according to the World Food Program. As many as 85% of families in rural areas face food insecurity. The country reported 2,265 active cases of COVID-19 on March 4 and a total of 1,887 deaths since the pandemic began last year. The country has seen a total over 59,000 cases throughout the pandemic, of which over 54,000 people have recovered and 1,815 have died. El Salvador began vaccinating people on Feb. 15.

Compassion partner churches are supporting vulnerable families with food and available medicine and developing online tutoring materials so children can continue learning from home. Center workers are following up in situations where child protection is needed. They also have been able to distribute over 367,000 food packs and more than 188,000 hygiene kits and to provide medical support to over 59,600 individuals. Compassion El Salvador has shared uplifting messages and public health information for entire communities through local radio stations.


How is Compassion Currently Operating in El Salvador?

Below, you will find the latest information on how Compassion is currently operating in El Salvador, including status updates on center openings, letter delivery and gift delivery. This is the most current information we have, though it can change quickly. Please know that all children and their families are being checked in on regularly by staff, either in person or by phone, even if the Compassion center is not open for programming.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Currently, all centers in El Salvador are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff continue to call and visit families at home while obeying social distancing guidelines. They have created video classes for children and youths. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute over 367,000 food packs and 188,000 hygiene kits to children and their families

Are Children Receiving Letters?

The majority of letters are delayed in El Salvador, which means it may take longer for you to receive letters from your child. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

Are Gifts Being Delivered?

Gifts continue to be distributed in El Salvador. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will be notified whether a gift has been designated as a child gift or family gift. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.


Story From the Field

Even in normal conditions, the families of Las Marías neighborhood have little access to water. They struggle to perform everyday tasks like brushing their teeth, cooking and washing their hands — one of the most important measures to prevent COVID-19.

The Compassion partner church that serves the families in this community works diligently to provide urgent needs for vulnerable families. When the mandatory quarantine began, they prioritized providing water to the families living in Las Marías neighborhood.

“Knowing that they don't have water amid this pandemic was something that increased our fear for them because they were not able to wash their hands, cook or make the daily hygienic habits that can prevent the COVID-19 contagion,” says Mercedes, the center director.

Mercedes and her team hired a private water tank truck to visit the community and deliver water to each of 16 Compassion-assisted families. Thanks to their tireless work, families now receive three large barrels of water a week.

“God is using each volunteer and sponsor to be a blessing to many people who live in need,” says Yesenia, whose 4-year-old daughter is registered at the Compassion center. “On many occasions, we didn't have anything to eat, and the food bag appeared through the church. The same thing happened with the water. They give and help us when we need it most.”

How can I pray for El Salvador?

Pray that God will protect and restore Salvadoran families who lost everything in the recent hurricanes.


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