El Salvador

Why World Vision is in El Salvador

Sweeping gang violence and drug trafficking continue to plague El Salvador, which has the second-highest homicide rate in Latin America. To make children safer, legislators closed a loophole in a family law—and now child marriage is forbidden in all forms. This means girls won’t be forced to marry their sexual aggressors, giving them a better chance to break cycles of domestic and sexual violence. Thousands of children each year drop out of school because of the gang and drug activity that surrounds their communities, which makes schools unsafe and draws kids into gangs. Gangs appear to offer security to youth who lack education and a clear path for the future. But high drop-out rates leave these youth without the skills they need to get solid work that could lead them toward stability. Your support is helping kids transform these tragic cycles. Two World Vision programs are making a difference: Peacebuilding Circles are teaching children and youth nonviolent ways to communicate, and Positive Coexistence Family Circles are teaching constructive child-raising methods and emphasizing the importance of child safety. Together, we’re empowering communities to work for justice and sustainability, turning violent areas into hopeful environments.

We never give up on people

World Vision child sponsorship looks at all the things that prevent children from surviving and thriving in their community, and then works with that community to bring all the pieces of the puzzle together to build a better life for all children. For sponsors, it’s a personal way to show God’s love to a child in need in a life-changing way.

Sponsor a child in El Salvador ❯

ElSalvador Child Protection
ElSalvador Education
ElSalvador Faith

Progress in El Salvador

Thanks to the generous support of donors, we’re making great progress toward the well-being of children and their families.

Child Protection and Care

Boys and girls are safe and valued, well cared for by their families, and participating in their communities as agents of transformation.

  • To increase child protection, we formed committees with representatives from religious, public, and private organizations and local governments. They organized community activities such as sports, summer school, and an International Children’s Day, and organized a violence prevention plan together with youth.
  • We started Youth for Development Clubs to support youth in their development and provide training in decision making, spiritual values, reproductive health, and preparing a plan for life.
  • To ensure that children are protected and participating, we created children's councils for children and youth to develop leadership skills, participate in decision-making related to local schools, and raise awareness about issues such as teen pregnancy.

Healthy Children and Families

Children and families are well nourished, protected from infection and disease, and have access to essential health services.

  • To encourage proper nutrition among children under the age of 5, we formed Circles of Good Health and Nutrition and trained mothers to educate other parents on childhood nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, hygiene, and disease prevention. These circles also help underweight children recover by providing underweight children with nutritious food and growth monitoring.
  • To protect children from Zika, dengue, and chikungunya, we raised awareness in the communities about disease prevention and treatment, in partnership with representatives of local religious, government, private, and public organizations. Zika and chikungunya are mosquito-borne viruses; Zika can cause birth defects in babies and chikungunya results in joint pain.

Education for Better Lives

Children have opportunities to learn and to develop their talents, young people are equipped for the future, and families and communities support children's education.

  • To encourage development in boys and girls ages 3-6, we opened preschools where children socialize with other kids their age and build their number and letter skills to prepare them for primary school.
  • To strengthen the academic abilities of children ages 7-12, we started children's clubs where kids get extra help in math, language, and reading. The clubs emphasize problem-solving skills and make learning fun so kids are motivated to stay in school.

Love of God and Neighbors

Children and families are growing spiritually, local churches are strengthened to demonstrate Christ's love in practical ways, and people are living at peace with their neighbors.

  • Our local staff served children and families as a demonstration of God's unconditional love, seeking always to be faithful ambassadors of Jesus, the reason for our hope.

Prayer Requests from El Salvador

World Vision's staff in El Salvador are asking us to join them in prayer for the following:

  • Strong partnerships established between local organizations, churches, and governments so that we can contribute together to children's well-being.


  • Protection amidst high levels of violence, affecting communities, families, and children.


News from El Salvador

From the Field

Zika virus: Facts, FAQs, and how to help

The mosquito-borne Zika virus can cause microcephaly and other serious birth defects. Though the disease has faded from the news since its most recent outbreak in 2015, Zika remains a risk in dozens of countries and territories in the Americas. Learn facts about Zika, the latest outbreak, and future threats.


Covering the world in prayer: Pray for Central America

Join us to pray for Central America — for World Vision’s work in the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. In many areas of Central America, gang violence, drug trafficking, and the lasting effects of past wars make life especially difficult for children and their families.