Argentina - Street gangs
Noelia and Juan at the subway station in Constitucion, a working-class neighborhood. (Peter Andrew Bosch/Miami Herald) Slide show
The street children of Buenos Aires

More than 3,000 children -- twice as many as in 2001 -- wander the streets begging, scrounging through trash or opening cab doors for some change. Most have somewhere to go at day's end, but 700 sleep on the streets every night.

75 percent are boys, 25 percent are girls.

30 percent of their fathers and 70 percent of their mothers are out of work.

About 30 percent to 40 percent say they left home to escape poverty or domestic abuse and violence.

Source: CAINA and Buenos Aires city government


The Centro de Asistencia Integral a la Niñez y la Infancia, or CAINA, assists street children in Buenos Aires. It is partly funded by the city government.

Donations can be sent by checks made out to Asociación Civil Los Chicos de la Calle, Av. Paseo Colón 1366, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, Argentina.

It's advisable to send checks to Argentina by courier or, if using regular post, with signature confirmation and proof of delivery or return receipt.

CAINA's e-mail address is


This report on Argentina's street children is the third installment of a Miami Herald series on the myriad problems facing children in Latin America and the Caribbean. The first focused on orphans in Haiti and the second on Honduran children who pick through garbage dumps.

Future stories in this Children of the Americas series will focus on Guatemala's malnourished children and the privileged children in Mexico.

Web design by Shawn Greene / Miami Herald