Puerto Varas is a small town in the southern Chilean province of Llanquihue, in the Los Lagos Region. It is a popular tourist destination known for beautiful natural surroundings. The town is home to approximately 34,000 people and is an important region for agriculture.
While Puerto Varas is generally a thriving city with the lowest unemployment rates in the region, poverty remains high with approximately 20% of residents affected.
Since 1984, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Puerto Varas.
Around 20% of the people living in Puerto Varas are living in poverty. This is mostly due to the fact that one third of the population is self-employed and struggles to earn enough oncome. Those who are self-employed often work longer hours with no promise of earning more.
Income inequality in Puerto Varas is one of the highest in the region. As parents have to work long hours, the often struggle to give the right care and attention to young children in the household.
Around 4% of children in Puerto Varas cannot read or write. This will affect their chances of a better future.
As many families are self-employed and do not earn enough money, many children of these households are expected to find work to contribute.
In most cases, they leave school. The school dropout rates are highest among young people between the ages of 14 and 18. As the region’s economy evolves, young people will need a solid education to find good jobs.