Latest update

The impact of COVID-19 in Mexico has been significant. The total case numbers and death toll are high, despite school closures and curfew restrictions being implemented in most Mexican states. Lockdown guidelines have varied from state to state and the country's vaccination program is now underway.

Local church partners are working hard to keep serving children registered in their programs. Many child development centres continue to meet with children in smaller groups or through home visits, in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. A small number of centres have resumed their normal activities. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Compassion Mexico has distributed more than 565,000 food packs and 257,000 hygiene kits to children and families in poverty.

Watch the video update below to learn more about the current situation in Mexico.

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Country update

How is Compassion currently operating in Mexico?

  • Are Compassion centres open?

    Most child development centres in Mexico are operating differently during COVID-19 to keep children, families and staff safe. The majority of local church partners are making calls and home visits to check in on children and their families. A small number of centres have begun meeting in small groups. All local church partners have received flyers on disease prevention and treatment that they can print and distribute in their communities.

  • Are children receiving letters?

    At this point, we are not able to safely deliver letters to children in Mexico. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write! We encourage you to continue sending your sponsored child letters of encouragement and hope. What a joyful day it will be when those letters are delivered!

  • Are gifts being delivered?

    Gifts continue to be distributed in Mexico, although they are currently delayed. Staff members have been given the option to disburse monetary gifts to an appropriate, verified caregiver, if necessary. This applies to family gifts and child gifts (including birthday and final gifts). Families may spend the gift on whatever they consider most important to meet family needs. The caregiver will decide the best use of the money, recognising that sometimes purchasing food or paying rent is in the best interest of a child.

How you can pray

Thank you for praying for children and families in Mexico who have been impacted by COVID-19—and the local staff and churches who continue to serve them in difficult circumstances.

Please join us in praying for the following:

  • Pray that the treatment and medication Mario is receiving would help him to manage his asthma and allergies.
  • Pray that God would protect Noemi and give wisdom to the doctors as they treat her health issues.
  • Pray that God’s peace and strength would be with Christian’s brother emotionally, spiritually and physically.
  • Pray for God’s continued strength for Genesis' grandparents as they recover from COVID-19.
  • Pray for comfort and peace for Zabdiel as he grieves his grandfather’s passing.
  • Pray for the safety and protection of all children, families and staff in Mexico.
Timely Health Checks in Mexico

Timely Health Checks in Mexico

Local Compassion staff in Mexico knew children living in poverty would be among the most vulnerable during COVID-19, especially if they had a medical emergency.   Read more open_in_new

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Please note: Due to the current pandemic, many child development centres in Mexico are temporarily pausing group gatherings. Local church partners continue to meet the urgent needs of the children through home-based care.

A snapshot of Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program in Mexico

Compassion’s program is contextualised across countries and communities, as well as age groups.

  • Children aged 1 to 3 receive home-based care.
  • Children aged 3 to 5 visit the Compassion centre for eight hours a week.
  • Children aged 6 and older attend the centre for six hours a week.
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Compassion Program Activities in Mexico

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Compassion assisted children in Mexico typically attend program activities at their local child development centre before or after school and on Saturdays. Here is an example of what a typical program day looks like for children in Mexico.

Devotional time - Children learn to pray.

Spiritual lessons - Children sing songs and learn Bible stories.

Break time - Children can play in a safe environment and develop friendships.

Social-emotional lessons - Children learn conflict resolution skills and how to develop healthy self-esteem. Children often come from challenging home environments and are taught social and personal skills.

Lunch and social time - When children come to the centre for more than four hours, they generally receive a meal. When they attend for less than four hours, they are usually given a snack. The meals typically consist of meat, chicken or soy cooked with vegetables, fruit and fresh water. If they are served a morning meal, it will generally be ham, eggs and fried beans. A snack is usually fruit or a nutritious dessert.

Health lessons - Children learn practical health and hygiene tips.

Letter writing and career planning - Older children work with local staff to identify their strengths and interests and set goals for their future.

Children also learn leadership development skills and are invited to join in vocational training classes, such as carpentry, painting, cooking, computer classes, English, hammock making, silk screening, embroidery, hair styling and fish farming, according to their interests and circumstances.

Parents and caregivers are offered health education and parenting classes.

The greatest needs impacting children living in poverty in Mexico

33

mothers die from pregnancy related causes per 100,000 births

12%

of people lack access to proper sanitation

Deep economic disparity and social exclusion remain in Mexico. Millions of Mexicans live in poverty, and drug-related violence claims thousands of lives every year.

Mexico is the most populous Spanish-speaking country in the world. It has a young population and historically, many people, driven by poverty, have migrated to the neighbouring United States to find employment.

In recent years, the Mexico-US border has become a focal point of international tension, with US President Trump declaring he would build a wall to keep migrants out. In late 2018, a caravan of thousands of migrants from Central American nations travelled through Mexico en route to the US and fetched up at the border, where they were denied entry and driven back with teargas. Many said they were fleeing gang violence and grinding poverty—two issues that also affect many Mexican communities. More than 50 million Mexicans live in poverty, with 11.5 million in extreme poverty (on less than US$1.90 per day). Rural areas are often neglected and huge shanty towns surround the cities.

After former President Calderon declared war on Mexico’s powerful drug-trafficking organisations, in 2006, violence spiralled out of control, resulting in more than 200,000 deaths and one of the highest rates of kidnappings in the world. In July 2018, Andrew Manuel Lopez Obrador was elected President; his campaign focused on ending political corruption and drug-related murders. His success or otherwise will be measured in human lives.

Mexico is a large and diverse country, and there are many areas which do not experience high levels of crime. Yet stabilising the nation to find a long-lasting and widespread peace has proved elusive and now, with the added complications of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems a distant prospect.

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