The Scholls of Peace in Latin America
In the last few years the very frail economy in Latin America has left large groups of the population and entire areas of the continent socially and economically backward. This is a serious social crisis, and it is young people who have suffered the most. News reports about sexual tourism, exploitation and abuse of minors make clear that children need more protections from society. The poorest children, such as orphans and children from broken families, are the the most vulnerable, and they easily fall prey to the most heinous crimes - child prostitution, slavery, and organ trafficking.
In El Salvador, Argentina, Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico and elsewhere, the 'escuelitas' welcome children who need protection and support. The "escuelitas" fight the very high dropout rate and the forces that push the most disadvantaged children to the margins of society; their very presence represents a real defense of young people, and offers them a way to escape child labor and determine their own future.