Covenant House’s mission of unconditional love and absolute respect for young people facing homelessness and human trafficking in Latin America has two main facets:
- Direct care.
- Systemic change.
In Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Nicaragua, we provide a total of about 81,000 nights of safe housing annually for children and adolescents ages 12 to 18 in our residential programs, and every night, on average, 220 young people sleep in a Covenant House bed. Our outreach, prevention, and residential programs in Latin America reach over 5,760 young people each year.
Because our residents are so young, our first goal in Latin America is to reunite them with their families whenever it is safe to do so. While meeting their immediate needs for protection, nourishing food, medical and mental health services, education, life skills training, and trauma-informed care, we also work with their families to build a secure and loving environment that their children can come home to.
But there are many times when the situation in the home cannot be made safe. Then our children and adolescents remain at Covenant House until age 18. We continue to wrap them in love and support while they develop their skills, talents, interests, and a pathway to sustainable independence through education and vocational training.
Many of the children and adolescents in our residences come to us having experienced abuse, neglect, sexual violence, trafficking, and irregular migration. Some are pregnant or come with small children of their own and must, at a very young age, learn to parent.
While direct care is core to Covenant House’s work in Latin America, our houses also work for structural change through public education and prevention programs, legislative advocacy, and human rights monitoring and activism, extending and deepening our impact across the region.
Our country directors are internationally recognized leaders in the field of child and youth protection. Their expertise has also influenced our Covenant House programs in the United States and Canada, especially in regard to survivors of human trafficking.