Last Updated: 24/09/2020

Businesses in El Salvador are operating without restrictions. Public and private schools and universities remain closed. The country reopened airports for international flights on Sept. 19. El Salvador has reported more than 27,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 800 deaths.

Compassion partner churches are supporting vulnerable families with food and available medicine and developing online tutoring materials so children can continue learning from home. To date, Compassion El Salvador has been able to distribute 213,126 food packs and 109,456 hygiene kits and to provide medical support to 22,878 individuals. They are also providing resources to help families plant home gardens. Compassion El Salvador has shared uplifting messages and public health information for entire communities through local radio. Some center staff members have been able to arrange small, virtual birthday celebrations for children. Many tutors have formed prayer groups to pray for the children in this season.

A Message From Compassion El Salvador’s National Director

Hear from Brenda Lisette Rivas, National Director of Compassion El Salvador, as she shares an update on how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion’s ministry in El Salvador.

Updated: 20/08/2020

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 even if centers are closed and letters and gifts are not being delivered, your child and his or her family are being checked in on regularly by staff. We all look forward to the day we will all be able to gather together again!

Are Compassion Centers Open?

At this point, all centers in El Salvador are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff members are still calling and checking in on families, and in some communities they are able to visit children while obeying social distancing guidelines. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute 213,126 food packs and 109,456 hygiene kits to children and their families!

Are Children Receiving Letters?

At this point, we are not able to safely deliver letters to children registered at Compassion centers in El Salvador. 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, although they are currently delayed. In some communities, staff members have needed to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver. 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, recognizing 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 for the thousands of Salvadorans who have little access to food because of the crippling combination of the pandemic and tropical storms. Pray for the churches that are working so hard to secure food for vulnerable families in their communities.

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