Youth Outreach Centers are a second home for many young people.

Second graders at the Oscar Tablas School and the CDAJ La Fortaleza, Cofradía, Cortés.


Children and adolescents living in the most dangerous areas of the country find a place to learn new skills at the Youth Outreach Centers.


In Honduras there are several communities stigmatized as violent, these are the areas where the Youth Outreach Centers (CDAJ) are positioned. The Youth Outreach Centers are meeting and training places that offer a door of hope and opportunities for the improvement and growth of children and youth.


According to Marlen Cantarero, technical facilitator of the CDAJs, “in the country there are more than 60 Youth Youth Outreach Centers in neighborhoods with high rates of violence and migration. These are located in different sectors of the municipalities of San Pedro Sula, La Lima, Choloma, La Ceiba, Tela, Tegucigalpa, Comayagüela and Puerto Lempira in Honduras, Central America.

Children, youth and adults between the ages of 9 to 29 who learn about the centers through advertising on social networks, posters, flyers or verbally, come to be able to learn a trade, finish their studies, recreate or train for a job.


The main objective of the Youth Outreach Centers is to promote a peaceful environment where people in the community feel safe to develop in different areas, without being discriminated against or excluded. Likewise, it seeks to foster unity, solidarity and the participation of different sectors and volunteers through a management system to help change the life patterns of children and youth at risk.


Graduation of young people at the end of their studies within the EDUCATEH program.


And to manage the sustainability of the centers, the National Association of Youth Outreach Centers (ALCANCE) was created, a non-governmental, non-profit organization, which is the legacy that Project GENESIS envisions for the administration of these Community Centers. Within this project is the EDUCATEH program (Technology Assisted Community Education of Honduras) which aims to help youth and adults in vulnerable communities to complete their studies. This program offers flexible schedules, online courses and the necessary materials for the beneficiaries to succeed in this stage of their lives. So far this year, 2,107 people have already benefited from this program.


The Youth Outreach Centers are made up of partners, coordinators and volunteers. “They are sustained through grants from organizations and support from USAID,” according to Pastor Arnold Linares, community partner of the center located in Rivera Hernandez. Likewise, resources are obtained through microenterprises to partially support the self-sustainability of the CDAJ. The National Foundation for the Development of Honduras (FUNADEH) is the organization that implements the funds that come from the GENESIS project, but also receives funds from the Government of the Republic and the private sector and municipalities.


Volunteering is one of the elements that gives sustainability to the centers since it allows them to keep costs low in addition to promoting social work. “To be a volunteer requires availability, time and passion,” commented Pastor Linares. Currently, there are a total of 4,662 volunteers within the different Youth Outreach Centers.



The fundamental requirement to attend the Youth outreach centers is to have the availability of time and the will to excel in order to be able to receive the desired course. Within the centers, workshops and talks are given on topics such as migration, values, entrepreneurship, scholarships, among others, which are important for the development and mental health of people. Training is provided to coordinators and volunteers so that they can continue to grow and encourage beneficiaries to fulfill their dreams and goals.  Each center benefits more than 200 children and young people monthly with this work.


The Youth Outreach Centers originated in Guatemala in 2006 and were born through faith-based organizations. The Youth Outreach Centers are promoted by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with the purpose of providing young people with a place full of hope for the future. The centers have been expanding within Central America and have reached Honduras and El Salvador. The first center to be built in the country was located in Rivera Hernandez in 2009.



computer wing damaged by hurricanes Eta and Iota.


Marlen Cantarero tells us that “with the passage of hurricanes Eta and Iota, the centers were severely affected since the losses were total, both in infrastructure and furniture. With the help of the Honduran Social Investment Fund (FHIS) we have been able to rebuild several centers, but they are still not fully recovered from the disaster left by the hurricanes.”


The Youth Outreach Centers are considered by many young people as a second home and their methodology for violence prevention has proven to be an effective and successful method.


Many young people have found a different path thanks to the work of the people inside the centers. There are several testimonies of young people who have escaped the clutches of gangs and even death itself because they have found the opportunity for growth within the centers. This humanitarian work done by the people behind each center is admirable and has impacted the lives of many families in the most vulnerable areas affected by gangs in Honduras.


Author Credit: En Alta Voz




Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WeCreativez WhatsApp Support
The ALCANCE Honduras team is attentive to your questions or if you want to know how to make donations.
👋 Hello, how can I help?