Shaping Brighter Futures for Uruguay’s Youth: Centro Educativo Los Tréboles

Collection of images from Centro Educativo Los Tréboles

Kevin* came to Los Tréboles Educational Center when he was 12 years old, referred from a study center nearby due to his low grades in school and lack of motivation. He came from a very vulnerable social environment with problems of unemployment and violence, and the lack of support affected his self-esteem and ability to learn during his early life. Through attending courses at Los Tréboles, Kevin discovered a new passion outside of academics that helped him pave a way forward to a happy and self-sustaining adult life: cooking.

As soon as the gastronomy training courses were announced a few weeks into his arrival at the center, Kevin immediately perked up and enrolled. From the beginning he was an outstanding student, quickly learning and surpassing his peers in the necessary skills and competences.

At the end of his internship, a prestigious restaurant in Montevideo hired him as a kitchen assistant and, due to his merits, he quickly advanced to main chef. After many years as a successful head chef, Kevin is currently studying to advance his cooking skills in order to have an even more qualified educational path. He is now a strong role model many young people in his neighborhood look up to, motivating other children in challenging situations to take advantage of training and job placement opportunities.

Los Tréboles Educational Center, the organization where Kevin first took his cooking classes, is located in Uruguay and gives adolescents and families within the Flor de Maroñas neighborhood opportunities and education to build a future with more choices. The organization aids 525 individuals from babies (0-2 years) through to young adults (29 years). They are also leading the relocation of 248 people living in one of the poorest settlements in Montevideo in front of a garbage plant.

The Center’s mission is to promote, organize, and encourage projects (be they social, educational, sports, cultural, and/or artistic)that contribute to the care and development of children, youth, and adults. The Flor de Maroñas neighborhood where the Center is located is one of the poorest areas of Uruguay, where 4 out of 10 people have at least one unsatisfied basic need such as shelter, water, or food. It is one of the areas with the highest unemployment in Uruguay (11.5% of the economically active population) and has a lack of adult support for children, with more than 40% of the population in the area under 17 years of age.



Since 2022, CAF America has facilitated $150,000 in grants toward dual education and job training programs, like the one that Kevin participated and flourished in. CAF America grants helped 160 young people between 18 and 29 years old (75% of whom were women) go through different training in gastronomy, logistics, and coding / programming. And, our donors have helped support 25 young people during the completion of their bachelor’s degrees in automation and robotics.

“Together with CAF America, we’ve harnessed the power of collective giving and help in making tangible changes in people’s lives. Our donors’ contributions have become the catalyst for innovation, resilience, and lasting impact in many of our projects.”

Centro Educativo Los Tréboles Executive Team

The programs have fantastic success rates—95% of graduates are placed with prestigious companies and workplaces. Eighty percent of those former students continue working effectively in the work environment they’re placed in for many years (the remaining 20% get a job in another company, but remain gainfully employed to this day). These placement rates demonstrate the amazing effectiveness of the dual methodology combined with the Center’s job placement program. Centro Educativo Los Tréboles continues to help hundreds of disadvantaged students like Kevin to reach their full potential and live brighter, happier lives.

*Names have been changed for privacy

Learn more about the great work done by organizations we support by viewing our other Stories of Impact. Learn more about Centro Educativo Los Tréboles here.

About the Author

  • Margot Cunningham

    Margot Cunningham serves as CAF America’s Officer of Marketing and Communications. Her responsibilities include planning, creating, and implementing marketing and communications strategies, with a focus on building awareness of our mission and engaging prospects and donors with long-form content and event opportunities.

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