For years, a complex crisis of violence, gangs and crippling poverty has driven families to flee El Salvador and seek safety in the United States. 

 Today, boys and girls are being detained in short-term law enforcement facilities on the southern border, resulting in children being held longer than the 72 hours allowed by law. Save the Children is helping meet their urgent needs and advocating for their rights, humane treatment and care.  

Help Save Children in El Salvador

Much progress has been made through the hard work of the Salvadoran people, as well as government agencies and charities. Child mortality – the number of boys and girls who die before their fifth birthday – has been reduced by almost half since 2000. However, rural poverty and high rates of violence and homicide are putting El Salvador's children at risk.

Red line


Innocent children have been forced to flee their homes due to violence, gangs and crushing poverty in Latin America. After a dangerous journey, thousands of children seeking asylum have been heartbreakingly separated from their mothers and fathers when they reach the U.S. border.

How Save the Children Is Helping

Our teams in El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico are providing education, protection and peace-building programs. What’s more, we’re empowering vulnerable families and communities to build resilience, improve food security and so much more to ensure that no child goes hungry.

Here in the U.S., we’re working to help protect children, uphold their rights and meet their critical immediate needs in collaboration with trusted agencies. Together, we can keep children safe and well-cared for until they can be reunited with loved ones.

Red line

The Challenge for Children in El Salvador

Suffering from poverty and without access to education or healthcare, children in El Salvador need your help.*

  • 33% of people live in poverty
  • 1 child in 67 dies before their 5th birthday - 2 times that of the United States
  • 14% of children suffer from stunting due to malnutrition
  • 23% of school-age children are out of school
  • 9% of children are engaged in child labor
  • 16% of girls age 15-19 are married
  • 1 in 14 girls between age 15-19 gives birth
  • 14% of girls age 15 and older struggle to read or write
Map of El Salvador

Our Work for Children in El Salvador

To help families feed their children, we provide struggling farming families with seeds, livestock, tools and temporary jobs so they can improve their agricultural skills. Our supporters’ generosity has helped children and their families in many ways including health, education, emergency response and violence-prevention initiatives. For example, 9 out of 10 children attending our early childhood development program successfully reached first grade.

Since 1980, Save the Children in El Salvador has worked with local communities and organizations to design Sponsorship programs for kids. Targeted to help children from early childhood to early adulthood, our programs work to make a healthy and safe environment where children can learn and grow. Our sponsors help us nurture healthy moms and healthy babies by providing access to high-impact, low-cost care, working to stop preventable deaths in both mothers and children.

Early childhood experts help prepare toddlers and young children for school by giving them access to quality preschools and early literacy programs. For elementary schoolers, teachers and education staff work to transform students into lifelong learners by building strong curriculums and passionate teachers. Working with teenagers, caring staff focus on that challenging transition between childhood and adulthood, helping ensure it’s a positive one by teaching them money, job and relationship skills.

Our sponsors also help provide health education and care to children in need through our school health programs to help children stay healthy, well-nourished and in school. Thanks to the generous support from our community of sponsors, these essential programs in El Salvador continue to give children a healthy start and the opportunity to learn, protecting them from harm along the way.

  • Protected 14,022 children from harm
  • Supported 55,956 children in times of crisis
  • Provided 129,036 children with a healthy start in life
  • Supported 900 parents to provide for their children’s basic needs
  • Gave 2,820 children vital nourishment

How to Help Children in El Salvador

Support Save the Children’s mission. Donate to help children in El Salvador, and around the world, survive and thrive.

Sponsor a Salvadorian Child
Be the hero in the life of a child in need. Sponsor a child in El Salvador and help them grow up healthy, educated and safe.

Browse the Gift Catalog
Give a unique and meaningful gift that will bring joy – and change lives. Find something for everyone on your list.

Sources: * Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s monitoring and evaluation experts and from the 2019 Global Childhood Report. You can access detailed data here. Other sources as follows: Population: CIA World Factbook; The World Bank, 2016; Unesco Institute for Statistics (UIS)


Thank you for signing up! Now, you’ll be among the first to know how Save the Children is responding to the most urgent needs of children, every day and in times of crisis—and how your support can make a difference. You may opt-out at any time by clicking "unsubscribe" at the bottom of any email.

By providing my mobile phone number, I agree to receive recurring text messages from Save the Children (48188) and phone calls with opportunities to donate and ways to engage in our mission to support children around the world. Text STOP to opt-out, HELP for info. Message & data rates may apply. View our Privacy Policy at savethechildren.org/privacy.