Project No: S10

Project Managers:
Steven Colon and Agueda Martin

Contact Info:

Donate To This Project Back to Chile

Factoids: 25% of Chileans live in extreme poverty.

Education: 97% of students from lower socioeconomic background do not meet expected grade levels. Only 18% enter university. 

Medical: “While in well-off districts, life expectancy is 80 … in other areas of the country people have great difficulty getting access to any medical attention [and] life expectancy is 20 years lower."  --Former Chilean President Ricardo Lagos



Project Managers: Steven Colon and Agueda Martin

FEDES (Fundación Educativa de Desarrollo Economico y Social) focuses on education and social and economic development, and is dedicated to bettering the lives of the poor and disadvantaged of Chile. The concept of human development embraced by FEDES is aimed at satisfying spiritual, emotional and physical needs, as well as providing training at an individual, family and community level, enabling people to create a stable, safe and peaceful social environment that will be conducive to the development of families and children. FEDES is presently involved with the following programs:

  • Vocational Training School where students from underprivileged homes learn trades.
  • Improving the conditions of the nation's poorest hospitals and medical institutions with much needed medical relief, equipment and supplies.
  • National Wheel Chair Program, plus orthopedic equipment and walkers.
  • Social rehabilitation and material assistance program, distributing basic needs to the poor

Santiago, Chile

Insights on FEDES

For insights on FEDES, check out these newsletters and videos.

Medical Relief

Each year hospitals in the U.S. discard literally tons of unused surgical supplies, in addition to replacing millions of dollars of medical equipment. With many in developing nations literally dying for lack of this same equipment and materials, FEDES undertakes bridging supply and demand in a not-for-profit venture.

The Pilot Project of Lo Espejo

The dream of FEDES Foundation is to contribute, together with a given municipality and other partners, to the substantial improvement in the quality of life for the inhabitants of the district. Lo Espejo, a district located in the south part of Santiago, is one of those districts.

Vocational Training School

In collaboration with the government and international agencies, in 2002 FEDES initiated a Vocational Training School program whereby young people from underprivileged backgrounds and/or high-risk youth are taught trades. Later, courses were added for older adults from the same demographic. In addition to receiving an educational scholarship and on-the-job training, students receive help with writing a resume, and applying for and getting a job in their field of training.

Women’s Empowerment

Vocational training can lift a woman out their cycle of poverty,  as well as establish their worth and dignity, and thus we gear many of the courses in our Vocational Training School to women’s empowerment.

FEDES Industrial Catering and Food Processing Technologies

One of FEDES’ more innovative training courses is an Industrial Catering and Food Processing Technologies module. As the only school of its kind in Latin America, this new training course has already proven to be of great interest to both the public and private sectors, in addition to supplying free education and on-the-job training to underprivileged young people.

FEDES Bartending and Confectionary Services

In the FEDES gastronomy courses, which are taught by licensed chefs, students learn the many aspects of creating appetizing foods along with proper food handling, hygiene, and safety techniques.

FEDES Computer IT and Networking program

Computer and technology skills are becoming essential for employment in almost every industry worldwide; therefore, technology empowerment is one of our greatest tools in breaking the cycle of poverty. Since financially disadvantaged families have limited access to computers at home or school, they are unable to develop the skills required in today’s labor environment for gainful employment.

FEDES Tailoring Design program

The FEDES tailoring, sewing and design courses are geared to train socially and economically disadvantaged women, allowing them a trade. Basic business concepts are also taught, allowing the women to create a business plan to start their own micro-enterprise. 

FEDES Nurses Aides and Elder Care Program

This branch of vocational studies includes courses to train nurse’s aides, those who care for the elderly, as well as care for the ill and infirm. The courses provide training for employment in a senior citizen’s retirement center, hospice, or personal residence. Subjects covered include nutrition, administration of medication, basic first aid, safety and hygiene, and other comfort and care practices.

FEDES Cosmetology and Hairdressing programs

In order to provide socially and economically disadvantaged women with vocational opportunities to lift them out of a life of poverty, FEDES provides a hairdressing course, as well cosmetology courses. Since the women come from extremely poor social strata, they receive subsidies for transport.

FEDES Job Skills Training, Entrepreneurial Support and Personal Development

This program, which is an essential element of the FEDES Vocational Training School, focuses on teaching small business management concepts and practices to entrepreneurs.

FEDES Training Program for the Mentally Challenged

FEDES conducted a training and integration project for mentally challenged young people hailing from poor backgrounds.

FEDES Training Program for the HIV Affected

This project is oriented toward non-symptomatic HIV-infected people, who are also poverty-stricken and marginalized from employment or labor.

Archive: International Relief Effort to Chile

Hearts in Hands (now FEDES) was created to do something to help the children in the community of Huechuraba, one of the poorest sections of Chile’s capital, Santiago. Our work began with organizing a team of volunteers united in the desire to improve the lives of these impoverished children. Our simple goal was to try to bring them some happiness despite their dire living conditions. Through these small beginnings, doors began to open, both here in Chile and in the United States, which has led to our being able to begin pouring a steady lifeline of supplies into this community.