Central America Facts - Compassion International

Compassion currently works in seven countries in Central America and the Caribbean. Through our work there, we gather Central America facts about children in poverty. These Central America facts and statistics provide a good picture of the reality of poverty and how Compassion is making a difference.

Poverty is a common problem in the region of Central America and the Caribbean but Compassion is working to change this. The Central America facts tell a discouraging story, but Compassion is bringing hope in the midst of this discouragement. Our programs are changing the statistics one child at a time.

Don't let the hopelessness of Central America facts overwhelm you. You can make a difference to a child in Central America or the Caribbean today!

Compassion in Central America and the Caribbean

Between North and South America is a colorful and varied region we call Central America and the Caribbean. This area boasts a geophysical variety from rugged mountains and volcanoes to tropical rain forests to palm-lined beaches. The population is primarily a mix between indigenous and African or European peoples.

Compassion first opened Central American and Caribbean child development centers in 1968 in Haiti. Since then, six more countries have been added to the effort. More than 250,000 children are being served in more than 1,365 child development centers. We're now working in:

This part of the world was the focus of European exploration and settlement during the 15th and 16th centuries.

More than 224 million people live in Central America and the Caribbean. The second half of the 20th century saw military dictatorships giving way to democratically elected governments in many Central American countries. However, the rapid rise of external debt and rampant inflation are key problems. In several countries, the desperation resulting from poverty, government neglect, corrupt politics, and limited economic progress has stimulated regional protest movements. In response, a number of governments have turned to brutal repression to end the protests.

Featured Stories from Central America and the Caribbean
  • Soccer — More than a Game for Children in Poverty

    Aug 10, 2018

    To battle gang recruitment in one of the most dangerous cities in Honduras, a Compassion center starts a soccer program to keep kids safe.

  • What is Compassion's Youth Development Initiative?

    Feb 28, 2018

    Every young person deserves to dream big and achieve his or her God-given potential.

  • Compassion Centers Around the World

    Feb 27, 2018

    See centers around the world and learn just how children are served there!

  • A Step of Faith

    Oct 21, 2017

    After a year, Luis still didn’t have a sponsor. But he refused to lose hope.

  • The Expedition to Education

    Aug 28, 2017

    See how children around the world travel to school every day—by bicycle, bus, tuk tuk, and more!