The capital of the state of Michoacán in central Mexico, Morelia is home to 849,000 people and 989,000 in the metropolitan area. Here, social deprivation, poverty and marginalization are some of the highest in the country.
With more and more families migrating to the city in search of a better life, many live in precarious conditions on the outskirts of Morelia and lack basic services like sanitation or running water. Winters are cold in central Mexico, and the makeshift shacks people live in get cold, damp, and unsanitary.
Since 2006, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Morelia.
Only 18 % of young people over 15 years old completed primary school in the Morelia metropolitan area.
Moving to the city may seem like it will bring greater employment opportunities for the parents and better educational opportunities for the children, but people from impoverished rural areas often lack the necessary skills and training to find formal employment. With no job security and lower wages, their children are excluded from the educational prospects the city has to offer.
Another figure that reflects the lack of educational options in the Morelia area, and other central states, is the average number of years that children and young people stay in school. If young people leave school and training after a few years, their professional and social chances are limited.
In Morelia, young people between 20 and 24 years old have attended 10.7 years in average – the lowest duration in the country. As a point of comparison, in Colombia children stay in education for about 14 years, and in Australia, this increases to an average of over 20 years.