Friends of the Children of El Salvador (FOCES) is a faith-based organization based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that partners with FOCES El Salvador to support some of the poorest communities in rural areas surrounding San Salvador. Over the past twenty years, we have developed a scholarship program to assist families with educational expenses; sent more than 25 delegations of 4-10 people to work alongside campesinos on projects they have requested; and raised over $50,000 for other needs such as natural disaster relief and medical emergencies. Delegates travel from Albuquerque to San Salvador and surrounding communities to learn about Salvadoran people and history,  to stand in solidarity with the poor, and to learn about the life and works of Archbishop Oscar Romero.


FOCES seeks to support students and their families who live in the poorest of communities outside of San Salvador. We strive to help better communities by helping students to stay in school rather than work at a young age to contribute financially to their families. We strive to provide alternatives to youth and adolescents to lives of limited education, poverty and gang involvement. FOCES El Salvador works directly with community members to identify areas of greatest need, and students best suited for our scholarship program. FOCES El Salvador guides FOCES Albuquerque in how best to direct our resources. We conduct fundraising activities to support each delegation and the projects they have chosen. FOCES was incorporated as a non-profit by the State of New Mexico on Sept. 6, 2006.


Student Education

  • Students enrolled 2000-2006 (cumulative total): 15
  • Students enrolled 2007-2012 (cumulative total): 44
  • Students enrolled 2012: 23 (largest number ever enrolled in a single year)
  • Average length of time students remain in program: 3-4 years
  • Total student years of sponsored education, 2000-2012: Approximately 15 years
  • Number of sponsors in 2012: 60


Community Improvement Projects

Each project was made possible with money from fund raising campaigns and donations, and often with the physical participation of US delegates:

  • Secure fencing around a community center in La Herradura
  • New mural on a child care center in El Escobar
  • Renovated soccer field near La Herradura
  • Built two Catholic chapels, one in Tres Ceibos Abajo and one in La Pinera
  • Built a community center in Tres Ceibos Abajo
  • Build a casa digna (proper home) for a student and his family
  • Refurbished a home for a student and his family
  • Repaired and refurbished the school in St. Angeles
  • Provided assistance for two women’s hammock cooperatives in La Herradura and La Pinera
  • Built composting latrines
  • Began a community gardening project
  • Provided school supplies and improvements in  many communities
  • Provided natural disaster relief (food, mattresses, mosquito netting, and other goods) in areas identified by FOCES El Salvador to be most vulnerable
  • Renovated a library
  • For several years, paid the salary of a physician who provided medical care for communities
  • Assistance with FOCES San Salvador administrative expenses


Call Us

(505) 243-1509