COVID-19 and Compassion’s Work in El Salvador

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

Last Updated: 04/12/2021

Due to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and years of extreme climate events, hunger has increased dramatically in El Salvador, according to the World Food Program. As many as 85% of families in rural areas face food insecurity. El Salvador reported an average of 151 new cases per day for the week prior to April 6. As of that date, El Salvador had administered enough doses to fully vaccinate about 1% of its 6.5 million people. The government announced it would give priority to vaccinating all education workers so that the country can more safely resume in-person classes.

Compassion partner churches are supporting vulnerable families with food and available medicine and developing online tutoring materials so children can continue learning from home. Center workers are following up in situations where child protection is needed. They also have been able to distribute over 395,500 food packs and almost 206,000 hygiene kits and to provide medical support to nearly 63,000 individuals. Compassion El Salvador has shared uplifting messages and public health information for entire communities through local radio stations.

COVID response in El Salvador

A Message From National Staff

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.

Are Compassion Centers Open?

Currently, all centers in El Salvador are closed in order to abide by local guidelines. Staff continue to call and visit families at home while obeying social distancing guidelines. They have created video classes for children and youths. Because of the generous support of sponsors and donors, they have been able to distribute over 395,500 food packs and almost 206,000 hygiene kits to children and their families!

COVID response in El Salvador

child reading IconStory From the Field

“It is difficult to do homeschool because now I don't have any teacher that can answer my questions,” says 9-year-old Yeimi. She misses her school playground and friends. Now, inside the four walls of her small house and a reduced space to play, Yeimi remembers and misses her classroom teacher.

At school, she learns; but at home, without classes, internet access or any technology device to do her classwork, her daily routine is frustrating.

“At the beginning of the school year, because we don't have a cellphone with internet access, we borrowed a phone from some neighbor to obtain the classwork every day,” says Yaquelin, Yeimi's mother. “I like to help my girl, but my knowledge is limited because I only finished sixth grade.”

Hearing about the situation, Ana, the director of the Compassion center that Yeimi attended, reached out to her schoolteacher, and they set up a routine where Ana would receive the girl's weekly worksheet from the teacher. Then Yeimi and Ana would make an appointment at the center.

At the center, they created a system where children who were struggling like Yeimi come for an hour of tutoring twice a week. Also, all the children get their printed classwork for free and can ask for school supplies and internet access to complete their homework.

“I am thankful for the center because they helped my girl finish the school year,” says Yaquelin. “I know children who are not part of the center, and they failed their school year because they don’t have the money to go online and print the weekly classwork or have someone to answer their questions.”

“When Yeimi started to not feel alone with her school troubles, her interest in studies improved,” Ana says. “Now she is ready to start fourth grade.”

How can I pray for El Salvador?

Pray that God would protect students and staff at schools from COVID-19 as they prepare to return to in-person learning. Ask God to give teachers the wisdom needed to apply safety guidelines and ask Him to give children patience to follow them. 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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