Our Homes: NPH El Salvador
El Salvador COVID-19 Updates
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on El Salvador is alarming. There are more than 2,700 cases in the country, with the government implementing further preventive measures to contain the virus. During a national speech on 17 March, President Nayib Bukele declared a National State of Emergency, announcing that El Salvadorans could leave the house to purchase basic items only on specific days based on the last digit of their identity card. Public transport is still not functioning. Salvadorian families are being affected in many reasons, one of them being the economic situation.
At NPH El Salvador, children living at Casa Sagrada Familia have everything they need during lock-down, thanks to the support of generous donors around the world and the great efforts of caregiving staff. However, the families whose kids attend the community programs, such as CAI (the daycare center “Centro de Atención Infantil”) and Father Wasson’s Community Scholarships, face a more difficult scenario.
Dinora Perez, a social worker at NPH El Salvador, says, “The main adversity most Salvadorian families face is the lack of work and are unable to earn money to feed their families and come from very poor communities. The majority of the parents survive on informal employment – cleaning houses, washing and ironing clothes, etc. – and because of the mandatory home quarantine, they have had to stop working.”
The Director of Fr. Wasson Community Scholarships and CAI (Daycare), Reina Gil, along with the teachers, try to remain in contact with parents using WhatsApp. It isn’t easy, especially having such a wide outreach, with 69 children in CAI and 160 kids receiving community scholarships. Reina explains, “It is impossible to contact all the families since some are so poor that they can’t afford a cell phone or internet. However, despite the difficulties to communicate, we have been able to talk with around 60% of the families, who have told us how they are coping and shared their concerns. We therefore do our best to reach out to cases where families are most struggling. But in one way or other, most are with the current situation.”
8,124 square miles – slightly smaller than Massachusetts
6,187,271 (July 2018 est.)
Spanish, Nahua (among some Amerindians)
A 12-year civil war ended in 1992; very high rate of violence and crime; deforestation, soil erosion, water pollution; hurricanes and earthquakes
Discover NPH El Salvador
In 1999, Father Wasson founded the sixth NPH home in Santa Ana, El Salvador. As with the other NPH homes, his decision was based on the needs of the many neglected and abandoned children. In December 2004, the last of the buildings in Texistepeque were completed and the family moved into their new home, Casa Sagrada Familia (“Holy Family”).
NPH El Salvador Facts
June 29, 1999
Children/youth fully supported:
Total services provided:
583 (Includes children and youth fully supported, community children, youths and adults who receive support by either attending our onsite schools, receive scholarships, receive in-kind donations and or medical/social services.)
Near the border of Guatemala in Texistepeque, about 30 miles from San Salvador, the capital
School (grades K-9); vocational workshops; clinic; chapel; basketball court; soccer field; farm; independent water well; waste water treatment plant
Did you know?
- The National Director is an Hermana Mayor (“older sister”), who was raised at NPH El Salvador.
- The Groupo Musical y Danza performs traditional music and dances locally and in the U.S.
- The school features modern, well-equipped classes, and offers kindergarten through grade 9. The curriculum includes math, social science, science, language, spelling, English, computer science and physical education.
- All students begin vocational studies during the 7th grade and may choose from carpentry, tailoring, welding, and baking.
- A cooking workshop for children and youth with neurological problems and learning difficulties was launched in 2016, teaching them valuable skills for their future.
- A community scholarship program was launched in 2018. Currently there are 27 children and pre-teens studying at the NPH school, four youths in high school students, and 28 young adults attending university.
- A daycare center, Centro de Atención Infantil, was opened in 2017 for children ages 1 to 7. Enrollment increased in 2018 and it currently serves 52 children: 34 of them are from the local community and 18 are children of Hermanos Mayores who grew up at NPH.