facts about the Rondon Center:
- Ages served: Infancy to age 18.
- Education: School-aged children attend nearby public schools.
- Academic year: Typically begins in mid-January and ends in mid-November. Students enjoy summer vacation from late November through early January, and a two-week winter break in July.
- Activities: Children and their mothers gather at the center for special activities and assistance each Saturday. Educational workshops on a variety of topics are provided for children along with enriching activities such as drawing, games and talks on religious subjects.
- Outreach: The center offers counseling, work training and childcare courses to the children’s mothers. Many of the mothers receive training in sewing machine operation, and once they are proficient they can find employment with the project’s own clothing company, Creaciones Miquelina.
- Nutrition: The center owns and operates a restaurant, which provides nutritious meals and snacks for the children each day.
- Medical care: Each Saturday, medical care is available at no cost to children and their mothers.
Situated in the northwestern corner of South America, Colombia is rich in natural beauty, comprising rugged Andean mountains, lowland plains, sprawling Amazon rainforest and coastline on both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Archeological evidence suggests that humans have called this land home for thousands of years. Its modern history begins at the end of the 15th century, when Christopher Columbus and the first Spanish explorers arrived in the region, subsequently establishing the area’s first successful Spanish settlement in 1508. Spanish colonization continued for over 400 years. In the mid-19th century, Colombia gained its independence and established itself as South America’s first constitutional government.
However, political instability in the mid-to-late 20th century led to the uprising of guerilla groups which have wreaked havoc through all manner of social injustice. Tragically, their targets are most often children. Kidnappings, human trafficking, recruitment as soldiers into paramilitary groups and forcible participation in drug-trafficking rings are all too common realities for vulnerable and disadvantaged children here. For this reason, the Rondon Center serves as a beacon of hope to the surrounding community in Bogotá. The center’s mission is to provide a safe environment for the children of working mothers who would otherwise have to leave them home alone while they desperately try to earn a living to support them. The children who come to the center receive the assistance and encouragement necessary to rise above the difficult socioeconomic circumstances in which they live — and their mothers receive peace of mind.
Facts about Colombia:
- Population: 50.8 million (2020)
- Languages Spoken: Spanish (official)
- Unemployment Rate: 9.7% (2020)
- Poverty Rate: 27% (2020)