In Casavalle, a neighborhood in Montevideo, more than 13,600 people live in illegal settlements, and 7,800 of them are children and young people under 24 years old. With difficult family situations, in which the majority of adults have no formal education, 68.9% of young people in Casavalle do not finish their studies, the highest percentage in the entire country. With no work and without an education these young people are essentially cannon fodder in acutely violent situations, whether in their own homes or because of bullying at school and even in terms of organized crime networks which often lure these adolescents and young people into working for them.
Centro Educativo de la Fundación Los Pinos (Fundación Los Pinos Educational Center) works to help young people finish their studies and gain access to employment. Individual monitoring of each adolescent and an understanding of their family situation creates the best possible basis for them to work on their self-development, consolidate their self-esteem and boost their social skills.
The center also works on employment training for 18 to 24 year-olds by offering them six-months of skills training in technical areas to enable them to gain access to the working world. The foundation has agreements in place with companies offering internships and in order to gain access to employment.
The Los Pinos High School seeks to change the reality of children from Casavalle by promoting neighborhood role models and helping at least 24 adolescents finish secondary school each year, enabling them to move on to new stages of opportunities with full self-confidence as leaders in the transformation of their environment.