“This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one day will grow. We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise. We lay foundations that will need further development. We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities. We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that…this enables us to do something and to do it very well.” – Oscar Arnulfo Romero
The COAR Children’s Village is located in the town of Zaragoza just off the highway between the capital San Salvador and the main port town of La Libertad. This 80 acre piece of land is decorated with numerous painted murals and gardens with tropical flowers and palm trees. It is fully secured providing around-the-clock protection to the children and staff. Within the compounds are several “casitas” (little houses) which serve as homes for the children. Each house has a sleeping area with bunk beds and dressers. Each child has their own storage space near their bed and a drawer to keep their personal belongings. The houses have a kitchen, living area, bathroom, and garden area outside.
The chapel is one of the oldest buildings at COAR and is the heart of the COAR Children’s Village and the center of the community. Just beyond the chapel is the COAR School which also serves as the parochial school for Zaragoza and is known throughout the department of La Libertad as one of the premier schools in the area. The Children’s Village has a open air communal structure for special events. Several administration buildings are found in the center of the town serving as offices, a library, and a reading room. A medical clinic, dentist’s office and medical laboratory are also a part of the village and are used by the children that live in the Children’s Village, as well as, by the surrounding community.
The COAR Children’s Village is always developing its physical space and enhancing the resources available to the children. Garden projects and sports fields are available within the property. Aside from bringing in food and clothing from the surrounding area, the COAR Children’s Village is a self-sustaining community where children are able to play, run free, and feel safe.