Our Approach


Educators and staff realize the widespread impact trauma can have on children and families and work to address the signs and symptoms.

Hands On

The learning experience identifies children as the principle protagonist and uses hands-on activities to develop their autonomy and creativity.


Children learn about their rights to education, health care, recreation, familiar support, and more. 

Learn More About the Center

  1. About the Center
  2. Educational Methods
  3. Integral Care

Two are  girls writing in their notebooks.For 25 years, ANADES has been running the child development center Alfonso Acevedo to provide education and integral care to the children of low-income families in the urban community of San Ramon, Mejicanos. Each year, roughly 100 children are enrolled in 4 different classrooms and are 18 months to 6 years old. The center is open from Monday to Friday from 7am to 5pm, with a daily schedule of academic programming, recreation, and a nutritional breakfast, lunch, and afternoon snack. The center is able to provide these services through the monthly tuition paid by families, Programa Velasco, and through  selling coffee from ANADES' organic.

A little girl is making a piñata The educational program is designed to be participative so that the children develop their autonomy and are recognized as the principle protagonists in the learning process.  It is based on a daily routine of classroom assembly, learning corners, which include playing house, building block construction, and molding with clay among others, speech exercises, motor skill development, storybook reading, and crafts.  The activities chosen within each of these areas are specific to the age group of the children in the classroom and are developed around certain themes, like family, animals, transportation, and more.

They are also rooted in the fundamental principles of ANADES, which are human rights, gender equality, and the care for the environment.


Several months into the year, the oldest children begin the process of learning how to read and write so that they are prepared to enter first grade upon graduating from the child development center.  This process is based on the Montessori model, which allows each child to advance at his or her own pace.  

Programa Velasco supports the center by developing educational materials and facilitating several field trips to complement the themes being covered in class.

Kids look at a lion at the zoo!

The center's educational approach is designed to meet the integral needs of each child so as to optimize his or her mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual development. To support their physical health, the center provides nutritional meals based on a balanced diet, two medical check-ups a year, and the re-enforcement of hygienic habits, like washing hands and brushing teeth.  Programa Velasco supports this effort by partially subsidizing the scholarship student's medical check-ups. 

Programa Velasco nurtures the children's emotional health by providing the funding for a full-time psycholgist who monitors the children in the classroom to detect behavioral issues or signs of abuse, provides individualized counseling to children and families, and refers children to other institutions for specialized attention if necessary. In addition, we fund yoga classes for several months for the oldest children so that they learn to control their corporal movements that help relieve both physical and emotional stress.  



The center teaches values, such as respect for others, responsibility, inclusion, and more.  Each month is dedicated to a different value with the hope that by cultivating these values at a young age, the children will construct a healthier society.  


A child in need of a scholarship is paired with a sponsor and communication is established between them.

Provide Scholarship

The scholarship subsizes a child´s integral education and care, which his or her family would not be able to afford on their own.

Track Progress

To continue in the program, the child needs to maintain good attendance, his/her caregivers need to pay their portion of the tuition, and attend monthly parent meetings.

Details and Benefits of Being a Sponsor


Your gift will support scholarships for children with economic hardship to attend the Center, two medical check-ups for students each year, social work services, educational materials, and a variety of experiential learning activities, such as yoga classes and field trip

Monthly Donation of either $25, $45, $75, or $100 a month. To sponsor a child, please visit this page.



As a sponsor with Programa Velasco, we believe the most important benefit of your commitment should be the opportunity to witness your impact and connect with the reality of the people you are supporting in El Salvador.

All sponsors will thus receive updates (frequency depends on your preference) on the child's development, family situation, on the local reality, and a handwritten card or letter from the child you are supporting.

Additionally, if interested, all sponsors have the opportunity to participate in a video call together with their sponsored child.

Depending on your sponsorship level, you are also eligible to receive a variety of thank you gifts:

$25 level: A thank you gift

$45 level: A personalized gift

$75 level: A thank you gift and a personalized gift

$100 level: A thank you gift, a personalized gift, and a special surprise!

For more information about sponsorship details, please see our FAQs page. 


Hear What Sponsors Say:


Judy Dunbar

" Supporting Programa Velasco gives me an opportunity, even in a small way, to help in rebuilding people’s lives, strengthen their community, and support young people as they grow forward in hope because learning can help you grow in wisdom and ability to work with other people in community as well as to give you the knowledge you need to open up opportunities for work."


Kate and Brian Dunneback

"We are so proud to be a part of the hard work being done through Programa Velasco and are most proud of the hard work the students in the program are doing!"


 Bonnie Berg

"What I know, is that the children in this program are being given a chance to have a good education in a safe and nurturing setting. They are surrounded by loving teachers, provided nutritious food and an atmosphere where they can grow and thrive.
Every person involved in Programa Velasco is there because they believe that every child deserves a good start on their life’s path. And this is why I have been a sponsor for Ashlee Escobar and now, her sister, Nicole.
My heartfelt thanks to everyone who makes Programa Velasco possible.!"

Take Action 

 Educate a child    

Newsletter Updates


Read our past newsletters and be sure to subscribe for updates here:

Contact Information

Programa Velasco

P.O. Box 601
Downers Grove, Illinois 60515
Tel: (331) 481-6517
E-mail: [email protected]