Bogotá is the largest and capital city of Colombia with a population of 7 million. Bogota is situation in the Andes Mountain range; it is the world's third-highest capital city in elevation sitting at 8,355 feet above sea level. The climate in Bogota is mild, with an average daytime temperature of 57 degrees.


Andean Region

  • Homes of poor families in the Colombian Andes are fragile dwellings made of whatever scrap materials can be found. Homes in the Andean region of Colombia
  • Children in the Compassion program have the opportunity to grow in every way: mind, body, heart and spirit. Children praying
  • Education is vital for a child to escape poverty. Sponsored children receive educational support and hope for a better future. Children showing off their artwork
  • Access to clean water is limited in this region. Children often walk long distances to collect water for their families. A boy carrying water over a small bridge
  • Compassion centers provide a safe, loving environment in which children have the freedom to laugh, play and just be kids. Children playing a game
  • Compassion center workers help protect children's health by teaching them the importance and how-to's of personal hygiene. Children washing their hands
  • At their church-based centers, children like this girl enjoy culturally appropriate learning opportunities to develop physically, mentally and spiritually. A little girl in front of her home




Roman Catholic


A Glimpse of Poverty in Colombia's Andean Region

In the poor communities of Colombia’s Andean region, jobs are scarce. The lack of adequate income means that malnutrition is common among children.

Child abuse is a major issue.

Children washing hands
  • Parents who were neglected or abused when they were children continue the cycle with their own kids.
  • Extreme physical punishment of children is considered normal.
  • Lax child protection laws and an underground tourist industry that caters to child predators add to the danger.

Another serious problem is lack of access to safe water.

  • Public water systems are few and unreliable.
  • Many families depend on rainwater for consumption and hygiene use.
  • During dry months, families use water from unsafe sources, such as streams and unprotected wells.
  • Children frequently suffer from waterborne illnesses, such as intestinal parasites and skin rashes.
  • Children are often assigned the task of collecting water for their families. They spend hours walking long distances, carrying heavy containers, just to collect water that can threaten their health – or even their lives.
Issues and Concerns
  • With the dismantling of drug cartels in Colombia’s Andean cities, many former “employees” of these cartels have found themselves unemployed, adding to the region’s already high unemployment and underemployment rates.
  • Many people also migrate to the cities from the countryside, hoping to find work and a better way of life. Unable to find jobs, they end up in city slums, where the environment is particularly unsafe and unhealthy for children.
  • Homes of poor families in the Colombian Andes are fragile dwellings made of whatever scrap materials can be found. These homes provide families with little protection from the elements.
Local Needs and Challenges

Clean water

The lack of potable water creates tremendous hardships in the poverty-stricken areas of the Colombian Andes.

Many people and even some Compassion centers in the region have to wait as long as three days for water to be delivered.

They must find a way to keep the water sanitary between deliveries, which can be difficult in a slum setting.


That lack of potable water combined with deplorable living conditions cause frequent outbreaks of sickness and disease.