The town of Choluteca is located in southern Honduras, near the Nicaraguan border, roughly 140km south of the capital, Tegucigalpa. 450,000 people live in the Choluteca area.
It is a major transit point on the Pan-American Highway. The Highway is a network of roads 30,000 kilometres in total length, it begins in Turbo Colombia and ends in Buenos Aires Argentina. It’s often used by drug smuggling and human trafficking gangs.
This puts children and young people at risk. Honduras suffers from high levels of poverty, violent organised crime.
Since 2000, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Choluteca.
According to a UNICEF study in Honduras, out of 25,000 gang members, 5,000 of them are children.
Violence and organised crime are major problems in Honduras. The level of crime in Choluteca is very high with aggressive violent crimes, assaults, and armed robbery.
Gang members have infiltrated every part of the community, even schools, ready to recruit vulnerable children to sell drugs or commit burglaries or other crime. Children and young people need to be protected and given good opportunities so that they can create their own lives free from violence.
Gils and women in Honduras are at risk of violence – violence which sometimes ends in their death. Around 161 woman is murdered every 23 hours
Women between 15 – 39 are most vulnerable to being either murdered by their current or ex-partner, raped or murdered. Women in Honduras are subjected to sexual and physical assaults with 15% of Hondurans experiencing physical violence after turning 15.
Honduras has one of the world’s highest rate of violent deaths among women. According to the most recent data from 2020, 278 women were murdered in the country.