COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in El Salvador

An in-depth look at the coronavirus pandemic in El Salvador

Last Updated: 10/19/2020

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 31,000 COVID-19 cases and more than 900 deaths as of Oct. 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. 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.

COVID response in El Salvador

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. Watch this video for a detailed explanation of how COVID-19 is affecting Compassion centers and how local partners are caring for each registered child during this season.

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!

COVID response in El Salvador

child reading IconStory From the Field

When single mother Laura was no longer able to sell socks on the street as a result of quarantine restrictions, there was nothing she could do to feed her two sons. As the days passed, their situation in El Salvador became increasingly desperate.

“Since quarantine restrictions started in March, our families have been strongly affected because more than 40% of our parents are dedicated to informal jobs or being street vendors,” says Carmen, director at the Compassion center Laura’s children attend. “They have to quarantine themselves at home asking, 'How are we going to survive?'”

Laura was unable to pay her family’s utility bills, and she had no idea how she was even going to buy her children food. “With the quarantine restrictions, I was emotional, and economically terribly affected,” she says. “I felt scared of the future.”

Amid the crisis, Compassion's church partner came up with a sweet solution. In addition to providing the vulnerable family with groceries twice per month, center staff trained Laura to start her own business making and selling chocolate from home and gave her the capital she needed to get started.

In just a couple of months, she is earning more than she used to before the pandemic.

“With my income, I can buy nutritious food to complete a healthy diet for my family,” says Laura. “Now we can have some vegetables, eat chicken, meat, and provide soy milk for [my son] Miguel, who is lactose intolerant.

“I am filled with thankfulness for the donors that support these funds because their support means a complete change of life for my family," she adds. "It’s something that I am never going to forget because it is marvelous.”

How can I pray for El Salvador?

Pray that God will provide job opportunities for parents and caregivers so they are able to provide for their families. For more prayer resources, visit Compassion’s COVID-19 prayer page for prayer guides and a virtual prayer wall.

How Can I Help?

Sponsor a Child in El Salvador
Give to Compassion’s COVID-19 Relief Fund
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