DID YOU KNOW?
When you think of Mexico you probably think of white sandy beaches but Jalisco is also known for diverse scenery including lush jungles, mountains and deserts.
Our work in Mexico
In communities like Mexico, we invest in the lives of children and youth to build the healthy environments they need to find a path out of poverty. With your help, our programs can make an impact on their lives and help them envision a future they never thought possible. Below are some of the challenges facing children in Mexico and the ways we work to create lasting change in their communities.
Drugs and violence
Drug trafficking has turned cities into war zones and infiltrated every level of state and national politics.
Five community centers in Guadalajara’s poorest areas provide safe havens for our children. These centers house libraries, computers and toys to keep them learning, entertained and off the streets. The centers also serve as hubs for our child and youth activities, like Sport for Development, Social and Financial Education, Youth Council and more. These programs give children and youth the confidence to envision a better future for themselves and the tools to achieve it.
of participants said their Sport for Development program created a safe, caring environment
The importance of empowerment
In many impoverished communities, children have never seen an example of a person or families pulling themselves out of poverty. That’s why it’s crucial to give children the confidence to create lasting change in their life. Our programs foster social responsibility through leadership, life skills and job-training workshops so children are empowered to make an impact for the next generation.
Epidemic of obesity
Mexico is one of the most obese countries in the world (surpassing the U.S. in 2012).
Parents who never learned about nutrition don’t realize the unhealthy eating habits they’re teaching their children. Our programs are educating them with knowledge and hands-on help. Organic gardens are flourishing at our community centers, producing healthy vegetables that our staff uses to teach parents and kids about the fundamentals of nutrition. Our obesity program also enlists a physical trainer to provide nutritional counseling and exercise.
of at-risk children were rehabilitated to normal weights through our Nutrition program
The importance of nutrition
It may not be easy to see, but obese children suffer from malnutrition in the same way underweight children might. Malnutrition keeps the brain from developing to its full potential, which makes it harder for children to learn. The lasting effects of malnutrition on a child can be lifelong, weakening the immune system and making them more susceptible to disease. Struggles with illness keep children out of school, leading to further challenges and a cycle of setbacks and poverty.
According to the Report of Evaluation of the Social Development Policy 2018 — children are dying from causes that can be prevented. It stated in 2016, the death rate from diarrheal diseases was 7.1 for every 100,000 children under the age of 5, while in 2015, 12.4 % of infants suffered from chronic malnutrition.
Teaching healthy behaviors like handwashing helps prevent the transmission of diarrhea and pneumonia — two of the leading global causes of death in children. While ensuring safe water treatment and storage reduces the risk of malnutrition, diarrhea, malaria and other water-borne infectious diseases.
sponsored children and youth received at least one exam from a Children International clinic
The importance of health care
Proper hygiene may seem like part of an everyday routine we take for granted. But for children in poverty, teaching and reinforcing these healthy behaviors is a life and death matter. Each year, 2 million children die from preventable diseases that could be solved by simple practices like handwashing and sanitation.
Poor dental care
Cavities and gingivitis are the most common medical issues among our children and youth in our programs.
We keep children smiling by teaching them about proper oral care, turning potentially boring lessons about oral health into fun games. We also prevent cavities and gingivitis by encouraging our sponsored children and youth to visit the dentist available to them at our community centers every year for fluoride applications, teeth cleanings and dental sealants.
The importance of dental care
Dental disease is one of the most common health conditions affecting up to 90% of school children. These diseases can be painful, serious and lead to extended absences in school, making it difficult for children to catch up with their peers. Proper oral hygiene is critical to keeping a child healthy and smiling.
Mexico has one of the highest birth rates in the world among girls ages 15–19 — that’s 64 per 1,000 births.
Our programs teach about age-appropriate health and reproductive information through our Youth Health Corps. Youth learn about the consequences of risky behaviors and how to plan for a more positive future.
teens and caregivers participated in our Adolescent Health program
The importance of reproductive education
Youth struggling with early pregnancy often drop out and are unable to continue their education. Without an education their chance to pull themselves out of poverty becomes limited, and they find themselves stuck in a cycle that has preceded them for generations.
The student-teacher ratios are too high in many poor communities, leading to educational shortcomings, children dropping out of school or being completely denied access to education. In 2016, 77.7% of children between 3 and 5 years old participated in the education system, while the remaining 22.3% had no educational possibilities other than those provided at home.
When children don’t get the attention they need in school, our tutoring programs fill the gaps; while our computer courses help level the playing field by providing valuable skills for today’s market.
For the second
year in a row,
of tutoring students were able to finish their school year and move up to the next grade level
The importance of education
When we reduce barriers to education, we set children up to thrive. Access to education reduces the likelihood of a child’s involvement in gangs or drugs and lowers the number of teen pregnancies. Education leads to healthier childhoods and, ultimately, to greater economic prospects as adults.
Your support is crucial to our programs
Are you ready to create change in Mexico?
Search for a child ready for sponsorship.
Our 67 community centers worldwide are hubs for activity and achievement as well as safe havens for children in our programs. See what’s happening at our community centers.
Jacqueline Byer Dial Center
Opened in July 2008, the Jacqueline Byer Dial Center serves nearly 4,500 kids and youth in the urban part of Jalisco. Besides its popular playground, the center features medical and dental clinics, a nutrition center, a library and a children’s play room, computer lab and administrative offices.