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Can you help us to ensure as many children as possible have a place of safety?

  • You’re backed into a corner.
  • A gang, covered in tattoos surrounds you and beats you until you can barely breathe.
  • You’re given a gun with two  options:
  • Murder the gang’s rival OR
  • Be murdered along with your family 
  • What would you do
  • Now imagine you are just 9 years old.

A 9-year-old is meant to be enjoying school and playing… Yet this is the age when gangs in Central America start

This is the impossible decision facing too many children growing up in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Violence has increased dramatically and where gangs are the primary threat to citizens’ security. In El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala alone, there are over 100,000 individuals belonging to the two largest gangs, MS-­?13 and Barrio 18. Murder rates for children in Latin America are higher than in any other region of the world.

‘Raquel’ was just 14 years old when she ?ed El Salvador, leaving behind her home and family. If she had stayed, the local gang would have continued to sexually abuse her. Her fate was to be raped and abused by strangers to earn money for the gang.

‘Azael’ and ‘Jerson’ were 13 and 14 years old when they left Honduras. They were given that impossible choice: kill or be killed along with their families. They had done nothing wrong. Their community was engulfed by gangs, the police couldn’t or wouldn’t help due to corruption and gang links, and everyone in their community lived in fear.

Raquel, Azael and Jerson knew if they stayed, they would be murdered. Leaving their family, homes and countries was the only way to escape. Each child left with nothing more than the clothes they were wearing, a precious photo of their family and what little money they had.

Raquel, Azael and Jerson endured a perilous journey: hitchhiking to borders, hiding in the shadows, being beaten by immigration o?cials and becoming weak with hunger and dehydration.

Can you help us to ensure as many children as possible have a place of safety?

 No child should be deported back to a situation where they are at risk of abuse or murder.

£25 Could provide food and water to ?ve malnourished children who have just arrived into Mexico.

£50 Could pay for a medical screening and urgent treatment for one child.

£100 Could provide a child with food, clothing, education and shelter for two months.

£250 Could pay the salary of a lawyer for one month to support children applying for refugee status.


Raquel, Azael and Jerson clung to the sides or roofs of trains. There is a reason why these trains are known collectively as ‘La Bes’a’, (The Beast,) or ‘Tren de la Muerte’, (Death Train) … The terrain is bumpy and they witnessed other escapees falling asleep for a split second, and then falling beneath the wheels, losing limbs and often their lives. Criminals preyed on their helplessness, threatening them with robbery, rape or death whilst others tried to lure them into brothels to be tra?cked. The Mexican writer, Valeria Luiselli, estimate’s 80% of girls are raped on this journey and each year, over 20,000 people are kidnapped.

For those children who successfully make it all the way to Mexico, they are still not free from danger as they have no safe place to go. The only real chance of safety and protection is the specialist refugee centre run by Casa Alianza Mexico.

Without o?cial identification or immigration papers, they are at risk of being deported back to their home country – no questions asked, no protection given. Children with no access to legal aid are 40% more likely to be deported than those who do

Casa Alianza Mexico supported Raquel, Azael & Jerson to apply for and secure refugee status, provided them with a safe home, enrolled them back into school and are supporting them to maintain family and cultural ties.

But they were the lucky few… Many thousands of other children desperately need your help s1ll.

 Please donate today to help us provide legal support and sanctuary to children just like Raquel, Azael and Jerson.

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