The LATA Foundation, the UK-based charity set up by the Latin American Travel Association (LATA) to help in Mexico, Central and South America, has announced two new projects:

• To set up a quail farm to generate income for a home for street children in Bolivia

• To construct a water fountain to provide clean drinking water in a school in Mexico

In Bolivia, the LATA Foundation is helping to provide an innovative way to support the Alalay centre near Santa Cruz which is home to 130 street children. Quail eggs are a popular delicacy in Bolivia and the LATA Foundation is helping to set up a farm with 3000 quail to supply eggs to the market. The project is run by Friends of Alalay (Santa Cruz) who have already carried out a successful pilot study, done considerable market research and secured the support of a local hotel to purchase 500 quail eggs a month. The farm will quickly become self-funding (within 3 months) and will generate much needed income to pay staff salaries, provide books, clothes and shoes for the children.

In 2010 the LATA Foundation provided all the equipment for an on-site medical clinic at Alalay. This helps to monitor child growth and development, provide inoculations and deal with immediate first aid. It is also used by villagers from the local community.

In Mexico, the water fountain will be located in a school in Puerto Vallarta and will be constructed and maintained by New Life Mexico which has a well-established track record. In 2011 they built a water fountain for the LATA Foundation which being used by 500 people every day. Since 2010, New Life Mexico has constructed 23 fountains, 21 of them in schools.

The new fountain will take 4 weeks to build and is partnership with La Vida, another charity working to support health and educational projects in Latin America. The LATA Foundation and La Vida held a successful fundraising event recently and this is their first jointly-funded project. In addition they have managed to secure the support of the Montpelier Foundation to construct a further three water fountains in other schools.

Lucy Clark, Head of Projects at the LATA Foundation comments: “Clean drinking water is essential. The four water fountains will be used by more than 2700 school children. Each fountain is expected to dispense a million glasses of water per annum and has an additional tap on the side to fill large 20 litre bottles which can be taken into classrooms. Most of the students fill up their own bottles to take home; some children fill up four or five.”

The LATA Foundation has now supported over twenty projects across Latin America including a reforestation programme in Peru, turtle protection in Venezuela and a project to provide clean water to a community of a thousand people living in abject poverty in Nicaragua.

The LATA Foundation is entirely run by volunteers. The organisation was set up by the Latin America Travel Association in 2008. Their work is now helping thousands of people throughout the region.