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Enhancing livelihoods and reducing urban violence through youth inclusion and social innovation

El Salvador and Honduras are among the most violent countries in the world. In the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala), studies estimate that more than 70,000 young people are associated with gangs. Control of territories by rival groups prevents mobility and access to education and employment. One out of four young people are neither employed, in training, nor pursuing an education.

Youth marginalization, lack of opportunities, and lack of hope create a vicious circle and a strong stigma. The private sector has rigid entry barriers, and a bias against hiring youth from marginalized neighborhoods tends to exclude these youth from the labour market. Confronted with exclusion and rejection by society, many young people may become involved in illicit activities that can provide them with status.

This project seeks to address the challenges of youth employability and violence prevention for both women and men. It will directly support 1,200 youth and at least 25 youth-led social enterprises that will impact 20,000 people in San Salvador, El Salvador, and San Pedro Sula in Honduras. Through partnerships with the public and private sector, the project seeks to destigmatize urban youth and provide them with economic opportunities. It will focus on reinforcing the positive role of young people as agents of urban transformation. It will also identify mechanisms to engage youth to address urban challenges in marginalized urban communities; link them to existing labour demands and markets; and equip youth at risk with a holistic socio-emotional and vocational skillset and training.

This project is a collaborative initiative between Fundación Crisálida, a Colombia-based community development organization, the Multilateral Investment Fund of the Inter-American Development Bank, and IDRC.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Carolina Robino
Total Funding
CA$ 547,300.00
El Salvador
Employment and Growth
Sustainable Inclusive Economies
Institution Country
El Salvador
Project Leader
Celina de Sola Jokisch
Fundación Crisálida Internacional