In Latin America and the Caribbean, each community is unique, with needs that require an approach tailored to each reality.


YMCA is the only organization that improves the quality of life of thousands of families, through programs developed for each location and aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030; guaranteeing more sustainable, fair and equitable communities, with emphasis on education, health and employment.

Page under construction. Soon you will know the best practices of YMCA in the region.



Our actions are driven by recognized professionals as part of each community.



Our programs focus on solutions that provide people with decent living opportunities.



Present in 396 communities throughout the region with professional teams working in a network.


Actions for all people regardless of race, creed, sex or sexual orientation.



Latin America and the Caribbean comprises 46 countries and territories with an estimated population of 645,583,000 people in 2017, projecting to reach 825,896,000 by 2050.


Currently, 79.8% of the population lives in urban areas, considering it the most urbanized region in the world with a life expectancy at birth average of 75.7 years (ECLAC 2017). At this time, the region is home to the largest population of children, adolescents and young people in its history and the second largest in the world after Africa (IDB 2015).


By 2036, it is estimated that the number of people 60 years of age and older will exceed for the first time that of children and adolescents under 15 years of age; and will continue to grow until 2080 (CELADE 2018). In this context, the youth of Latin America and the Caribbean face multiple problems or challenges accentuated by their status as young people.


Recent short-term events such as the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela and the Central American migrant caravans also put migration at the center of the regional agenda.



América Latina y el Caribe comprende 46 países y territorios con una población estimada en 2017 de 645,583,000 personas proyectándose llegar a 825,896,000 en 2050. Actualmente, el 79.8% de la población vive en zonas urbanas considerándose la región más urbanizada del planeta con una esperanza de vida al nacer promedio de 75.7 años (CEPAL 2017).

En este momento, la región alberga a la población de niños, niñas, adolescentes y jóvenes más grande de su historia y la segunda más grande del planeta después de África (BID 2015). 


Para el año 2036, se estima que el número de personas de 60 años y más superará por primera vez el de niños, niñas y adolescentes menores de 15 años; y seguirá creciendo hasta 2080 (CELADE 2018). 


En este contexto, las juventudes de América Latina y el Caribe afrontan múltiples problemas o desafíos acentuados por su condición de joven. Eventos coyunturales recientes como la crisis humanitaria de Venezuela y las caravanas migrantes centroamericanas también ponen a la migración en el centro de la agenda regional.


Latin America and the Caribbean remains the most unequal region in the world: in 2014, the richest 10% had 71% of the region's wealth (CELADE 2014).


46.7% of girls and boys between 0 and 14 years of age live in poverty and 16.9% in extreme poverty; Additionally, 32.7% of young people between 15 and 24 years of age live in poverty and 9.9% in extreme poverty (ECLAC 2017).


In 2013, one in five children under 15 years old was in a situation of destitution (ECLAC 2015) and only 6 out of 10 children under four years of age participate in educational programs (ILO-CINTERFOR 2018).


It is also observable that inequities are greater in certain groups, such as young women, indigenous groups, Afro-descendants and rural populations who have greater difficulties to participate (ECLAC 2018).


A high percentage of young people are outside the education system, which reduces their chances of improving their living conditions. Although progress has been made in this area, 93% of girls and boys are enrolled in primary education, only 46.5% reach tertiary education (ECLAC 2015).


Today, completing the primary level is insufficient to get out of poverty. Among the achievements, it can also be noted that the literacy rate in young people between 15 and 24 has reached 98.4% (ECLAC 2017). Today, 22.7 million young people between 15 and 24 do not study or work, or do not integrate the economically active population (World Bank 2016), which contributes to inequality, crime, violence and completely curb the advantages of demographic dividend of the region (World Bank 2016).


The educational systems were designed in the 19th century to meet the requirements of the first Industrial Revolution and the vertiginous changes in the technological area and the information and knowledge economy generate a profound impact on the world of work. Figures from the Inter-American Development Bank reveal that only 30% of girls and boys in third and fourth grade have the minimum knowledge and fundamental skills required in the digital age, such as mastery of mathematics (IDB 2017).



Only 64.3% of the economically active population in the region participates in economic activity with an average unemployment rate of 9% (ECLAC 2017). 135 million economically active people, 47% of workers, participate in the informal economy (ILO-CINTERFOR 2018).

Unemployment in young people is higher than in adults and has increased since 2007, reaching more than 13% worldwide in 2017 and in the same year it stood at 18.3% in Latin America and the Caribbean, the highest in a decade (ILO-CINTERFOR 2018). In some countries, the unemployment rate of young people triples the percentage in adults, so placing this population in formal employment has become one of the main challenges for the region.


Six out of 10 young people only find employment in conditions of informality, without social benefits and with low salaries (Vargas 2018).


A child dies every 3 minutes somewhere in Latin America and the Caribbean; 50% die before 28 days of life due to premature births, asphyxiation during childbirth and infections and 60% die before the first year mainly due to pneumonia and diarrhea (ECLAC 2015).


The fertility rate in adolescents in the region is one of the highest on the planet, only exceeded by sub-Saharan African countries (ECLAC 2015). 1.6 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean live with HIV; The Caribbean is the second region with the highest HIV prevalence after sub-Saharan Africa and 53% are women and girls. Only four countries have reached the universal goal of access to antiretroviral treatment for HIV (ECLAC 2015).


360 million of the inhabitants in the region, 58%, live overweight becoming the biggest nutritional threat in the region, which adds up to 3.6 million obese people every year. The increase in obesity has disproportionately impacted women and children. 7.2% of children under 5 in the region live with overweight.



According to ECLAC, in Latin America and the Caribbean there has been a reduction in migration to countries outside the region and an increase in intra-regional flows (ECLAC 2015).


Before the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, there were already 28.5 million Latin Americans and Caribbean residents residing in a country in the region other than their birth. By the end of 2018, 3.4 million Venezuelans had already left their country and another 2 million are expected to be released in 2019; the majority settling in countries of the region (El País 2019).


In Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, drug gangs and cartels have generated humanitarian emergencies comparable to Syria, Libya and Iraq, forcing thousands of people to leave their homes and leave their countries in search of protection and a better future (González 2015 ).


The effects of climate change and imminent environmental crises in the region negatively affect people's livelihoods and force the displacement of people, particularly those of youth due to their greater vulnerability. The region as a whole shows a 9% reduction in its proportion of forest-covered area and maintains an upward trend in carbon dioxide emissions (ECLAC 2015).


In 2015, three events marked positive milestones to mitigate the environmental impact. The Encyclical Papal Laudato Si proposes an ethical redirection of production and consumption and challenges to generate sustainable options. The agreement on climate change at COP 21 seeks to keep the world temperature below 2o C.


And, finally, the 2030 Agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals that seeks to respond to environmental, social, political, economic, civic and institutional imbalances of the planet through collaboration with the public, non-governmental and private sectors.



In 2013, women represented less than 25% of the members of the powers of the State. In the legislative field, the number of seats occupied by women in national parliaments has almost tripled, with Cuba being the country with the highest number of women (45%) and Belize the parliament with the lowest number, only 3% (ECLAC 2015 ).


The structure of the labor market and labor participation maintain its main features of inequity. The proportion of women among paid employees is lower than that of men. One in three women in 2013 could not generate their own income and one woman earned only $ 87 for every $ 100 a man earned (ECLAC 2015).


Women's access to other basic services such as education and health is still significantly lower (ECLAC 2015).